Here's an urban myth that refuses to die: Hotel card keys are gold mines for identity thieves, who extract credit card numbers and other personal nuggets from them. This rumor, generating millions of Internet postings in recent years, is based on a thin premise at best.

Now it's been convincingly debunked by Computerworld, a Framingham, Mass.-based weekly trade tabloid for information technology professionals.

The publication challenged a top maker of magnetic card readers to find personal data on 100 room-card keys — from Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Westin and other major chains — collected by staff members in their travels.

The result? Nada.

Get the full story at the Los Angeles Times