Privacy in hospitality: managing biometric and biographic data with immersive technology

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Purpose – This study aims to investigate the implications, risks and challenges of data privacy due to the use of immersive technology in the hospitality industry.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopt a mixed-method approach. Study 1 is a focus group. The authors then provide external and ecological validity with a field experiment conducted with 139 hotel clients at a three-star continental European hotel.

Findings – Collecting biometric data results in unbalanced privacy compared to biographic data, as it diminishes individuals’ control over their data and grants organizations absolute power. This unbalanced privacy directly influences consumers’ willingness to disclose information, affecting their choice of hotels and access to services.

Practical implications – Hotels should redesign their strategies to accommodate heightened privacy risks with biometric data. This can be obtained by introducing systems that foster customer confidence in data usage and facilitate customers’ willingness to disclose biometrics through immersive technology or
biographic data.

Originality/value – This study introduces unbalanced privacy as a unique state due to sharing biometric data. The authors propose a novel doctrine, the uncontrollable privacy paradox, which is a shift from the privacy paradox. The uncontrollable privacy paradox addresses the unbalanced privacy envisaged through consumer powerlessness in data management. This research addresses the literature gap on the privacy paradox by offering a broader perspective, including business, industry and mixed reality considerations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Early online date23 Sept 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 23 Sept 2023


  • Privacy paradox
  • Unbalanced privacy
  • Immersive technology
  • Biometric data
  • Hospitality
  • Metaverse

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