the embattled swipe-card hotel key
Room Key, one of the most popular but controversial works in the accommodation industry, is losing some traction.
New technologies and old concerns are putting these systems on the verge of extinction.
Perhaps this will not be more evident at any time than next week\'s International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show in New York, known as the world\'s largest hospitality event.
Richard Siegel, who published the hotel upgrade magazine, said: \"Technology moves through the cycle, and the cycle may deviate from the magnetic system . \".
\"There are a lot of new technologies that interest the hotel.
\"According to the American Association of hotels and accommodation, 83% of hotels have electronic locks, most of which use magnets to swipe their cards. Card technology.
No one expects these systems to disappear overnight.
On the one hand, they are cheap-
It costs about 10 cents for each plastic key.
They can also be used--
Just swipe your card through the card reader and you are in your room.
There is no doubt that they are more efficient than the oldOld Fashioned, simpleto-Lost metal key
But they also have a bad reputation among some business travelers.
Over the past few years, rumors have circulated on the Internet about the privacy of magnetic cards.
The rumor seems to have come from a police station in Pasadena, California in 1999.
, Investigated claims for extracting personal information from hotel key cards.
Officials finally concluded that private data had not been downloaded to the card.
The ads did not calm down negative emotions.
Kevin Coffey, a Los Angeles-based travel safety consultant, said the report would only lead to more speculation.
He said about possible misuse of magnetic keys: \"You might have the main hotel chain say, \'We don\'t do that. \'\".
\"But business travelers are thinking, what if they go abroad?
These hotels are reviewed differently than in the United States.
What if they put our personal information on those cards?
\"However, rumors began to circulate a few weeks ago after Robert L.
Mitchell, a national reporter for the trade publication computer world, posted an article on his blog questioning the security of magnetic cards. Mr.
Mitchell reports that Peter Wallace is the information technology manager of a travel agency in Pa Wyomissing.
Personal information encoded on key cards issued by at least three different hotel chains was found. Mr.
Wallace was reluctant to discuss his findings with me, claiming that the report damaged his business, but insisted that his previous statement was accurate.
\"Do this research,\" he said . \"
\"The truth is there. \"Mr.
Mr. Mitchell said.
Wallace believes that after the blog was released, he also stopped communicating with him.
Wallace is telling the truth.
In fact, the computer world is collecting samples of hotel key cards to determine if they contain any personal data.
\"If you listen to people in the industry, you will hear them tell you that there is no personal information on these cards,\" he said . \".
But what is the truth?
We\'re going to find out.
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Mark Goldberg, chief operating officer of Plasticard
Locke Technology International in AshevilleC.
One of the biggest manufacturers of key cards calls this fear \"urban myth \".
\"This is something made up.
We have a lot of questions about it, so we have a stock
The email we sent in response.
\"Concerns about magnetic cards do not seem to be common among business travelers ---
There is nothing about soaring hotel prices or surcharges.
\"Hotel guests are not screaming for new door locks,\" said John Pino, executive chairman of Philadelphia StarCite, a consulting firm and hotel company.
Still, the hotel business is quietly looking for alternatives to ensure fear does not spread.
For example, the new tower in the Palace of Las Vegas uses a fingerprint scanner instead of a plastic key.
A few years ago, Hilton New York was one of the first hotels to turn to magnetic architecture.
As early as 1985, the new \"smart card\" was installed by stripe keys, which contains more information but is more difficult to invade.
They are also more expensive, of course.
Milwaukee ementhotels is also considering another key system for using proximity cards, according to Greg Patyk, national sales manager at Access Technologies International, a Milwaukee security lock manufacturer.
Today, the system that the company mainly uses opens a lock when guests approach.
\"There is no zone to read,\" he said, so penetration is also harder than magnetic cards.
Over time, does the magnetic stripe card disappear quickly or fade-
I tend to believe they will stay here for a while. -
You can consider taking some precautions on your next trip.
Use a charge room card as the key to your car or house.
Protect it like a credit card.
When you check out, either put it back at the front desk or dispose of it like any other form of plastic payment: cut it into pieces with scissors and throw it away. SOUNDING OFF E-
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A version of this article was printed on page C00012 of the National edition on November 8, 2005 with the title: Sounds good;
Credit card in troubleCard Hotel Key.