Motel 6 Handing Nightly Guest List to Police

Motel 6 Handing Nightly Guest List to Police

This I can't believe. If you stay at the Motel 6 on Jefferson Blvd in Warwick, they are voluntarily sending your information (along with all other guests) each night to the Warwick PD. The Police are then running that information to see if there's any outstanding warrants (along with anything else they're checking but not telling us about) for any of those guests.

We know everyone who is staying in the hotel tonight

What business is it of yours? I can practically hear the smug grin plastered across Mayor Avedesian's face when he said that.

It's bad enough the information is being turned over to the police, but what makes it worse is the hotel isn't actually telling their guests about it.

Avedisian said now that Motel 6 has agreed to share its national "do not rent" list of problem guests, he intends to reach out to the Rhode Island Hospitality Association to see if other establishments in the city would be willing to do the same.

If hotels want to keep a list of people they won't do business with, that's fine. If they want to voluntarily share that list with other hotels, that's also fine. None of that requires the government, so what the mayor is really telling you here is he intends to strong-arm other hotels in the city to also voluntarily hand over their nightly guest information.

The police's job isn't easy, I get that, but it's not supposed to be easy. That's why there are things like privacy laws and other safeguards which are supposed to ensure that when the police investigate crimes and criminals they narrow their requests for information only to the people they're investigating, not a blanket catch-all for everyone.

This is a major privacy violation and is just waiting for a lawsuit.

Update May 1: Warwick Police have discontinued asking hotels for nightly guest lists.