Follow up: Hotel Keys Informative - Further information on previous posts.
RE: Personal info on hotel "credit card" keys.
Recently, in response to a consumer privacy post, I relayed information coming from a police source: Electronic "credit card" keys used at hotels contain encoded credit card and personal information. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Assn., this is an urban myth. The text of the article stating such to be an urban myth appears at www.bankrates.com and was today posted on MSN News.
Detectives at the Pasadena, CA PD initialy reported a single finding where personal info had been encoded on a hotel key. I had seen an overseas hotel security staffer demonstrate that my name, address, and CC# was encoded on a hotel key.
So, it appears that while "some" keys "may" contain "some" personal info, most probably do not. What info recorded on the key is determined by the hotel. Usually, it consists of: guest name, room number, check-in date, and check-out date, and the hotel folio number (which I recently found applied to my case where the hotel used a portion of the CC# as part of the folio#.
My recommendation? Given that guests have no way of knowing what info is/isn't encrypted on their room keys, they should take whatever precautions they are comfortable with taking. Personally, I have no reservations about applying a generous portion of paranoia when it comes to preventing identity theft in today's age.
RE: Litter in Hemel Hempstead, UK
Numerous posts on m3c have been made regarding poor public maintenance and litter in Hemel Hempstead. According to my mate, who lives in HH, this is untrue. He relates, except on county lanes where pranksters engage in "bin tipping", the area is quite tidy. The area once had a reputation for being unkept. However, my source tells me that the situation is much improved from years past. Like the complainant's post, the rebuttal is likewise subjective.