Well, the chain has finally responded, and has done so very firmly indeed. Best Western doesn’t admit to any data loss, saying only that the Herald “brought to our attention the possible compromise of a select portion of data at a single hotel”.
Best Western says it has “found no evidence to support the sensational claims ultimately made by the reporter and newspaper.” They also describe the steps they take to keep data secure, and say “we have no evidence to suggest that there is need for widespread concern”.
Given the strength of Best Western’s denials, the ball appears to be back in the Herald’s court. More evidence would be interesting to see now, especially as the chatter continues around the web; Slashdot has a thread while the Information Week blog asks some questions about Best Western’s statement. There’s clearly a million miles between the Herald’s story and the chain’s retort.