Last updated: 10:10 AM ET, Mon September 26 2016

Donald Trump's Hotel Chain Slapped with $50K Fine Ahead of Presidential Debate

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | September 26, 2016

Donald Trump's Hotel Chain Slapped with $50K Fine Ahead of Presidential Debate

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore).  

All eyes will be on Hempstead, New York, and presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Monday night when the pair square off in the first of three presidential debates ahead of November's election.

Given the timing, though, it's likely Trump could face some tough questions regarding the missteps of his hotel business, which has agreed to shell out $50,000 in penalties in addition to enhancing its data security in wake of not one, but two recent payment card breachs that jeopardized more than 70,000 credit cards.

The Associated Press reported the Trump Hotel Collection has agreed to a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over the hacks.

"It is vital in this digital age that companies take all precautions to ensure that consumer information is protected, and that if a data breach occurs, it is reported promptly to our office, in accordance with state law," Schneiderman said in a statement last week.

On top of not having the proper safeguards in place, Trump Hotels were late to inform customers of the breaches, with several months passing before guests were alerted.

The chain first learned of the initial malware attack in June 2015 but didn't post a notice to its website until September 2015. According to PCWorld, the "unreasonable delay" was in violation of New York's General Business Law.

READ MORE: Is Donald Trump's Presidential Run Hurting Trump Hotels?

More recently, investigators learned of a breach at Trump Hotels this past March. However the company didn't confirm the incident until June.

According to the settlement, Trump Hotels must take several steps to beef up the security of its networks, including proper employee training, risk analysis and routine safeguard testing.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Hotel Collection told the Associated Press that protecting customer data is a top priority, but noted Trump Hotels hasn't been the only target of hackers.

"Unfortunately, cyber criminals seeking consumer data have recently infiltrated the systems of many organizations, including almost every major hotel company," the spokeswoman told the AP.

While several major hotel chains have been victimized by malware on their point-of-sale systems, Trump Hotels' settlement and subsequent $50,000 fine indicates the company didn't do enough. But it remains to be seen whether the news will hurt Trump as he prepares to take the debate stage and make his final push for the Oval Office.


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