So you stayed at a Starwood hotel: Tips on data breach

FILE - In this July 31, 2013, file photo, the logo for the W Hotel, owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is seen in New York's Times Square. The information of as many as 500 million guests at Starwood hotels has been compromised and Marriott said that it’s discovered that unauthorized access to data within its Starwood network has been taking place since 2014. The company said Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, that credit card numbers and expiration dates of some guests may have been taken. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

THUMBS UP: With December now here, it's wonderful to finally see some precipitation and snow accumulation in the mountains. The mountains are most beautiful in the winter!

THUMBS UP: Weber State University announced the top four candidates to be screened in a pubic Q&A on Wednesday, with the new president announced as early as Thursday. The two female and two male candidates come with a range of experiences, with one currently at Weber State. They include Katherine P. Frank, Frank R. Lamas, Brad L. Mortense and Melody Rose. While we don't know much about them and their backgrounds yet, there will be an opportunity. 

We urge the public to participate in the public forum on Wednesday. It's important that the community be involved in this process for WSU's next leader. The individual screened and selected will significantly impact students, how WSU interacts with the public and the building out of our future community.

THUMBS DOWN: This week it was reported that Davis County Jail had a policy manual providing broad and general instructions for medical care but had been without a set of protocols for providing health care to inmates for at least six years. While inmates have violated the law, it does not make them immune from humane medical care and sufficient attention. Fortunately, the jail has taken measures to create new protocols following this years-long egregious lapse in judgment.

THUMBS DOWN: Gov. Gary Herbert called the Legislature into a special session this coming Monday to evaluate several issues, the main one being medical marijuana and a compromise legislators had been working on in light of the passage of Proposition 2, which voters passed in the Nov. 6 election. 

While we do not oppose the special session, we do hope that legislators keep in mind that voters did indeed pass Proposition 2. We believe they have the duty to uphold voters' wishes. Was Proposition 2 perfect? No. There can surely be improvements and clarifications made. However, we hope that those opposed to it do not strip this new progress of its purpose and future. Voters took action this year to get a medical marijuana law passed since the Legislature could make no discernible progress in previous years. Voters spent significant time collecting signatures to get it on the ballot, and then to get it passed. All future steps on legislating medical marijuana should honor those efforts.

THUMBS DOWN: Another data breach. On Friday, Marriott -- the hotel empire owned by an LDS businessman -- announced that it had compromised the information of 500 million guests. This has exposed credit card numbers, passport numbers and birthdates. And not only is this data breach quite large, but it has been ongoing since 2014. This breach opens up guests to criminals opening fraudulent accounts. 

These days, it's abundantly clear that no one's information is safe online or in transactions. But what are Americans to do besides drop off the internet and function on a cash basis? 

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