Airbnb Wants to Collect All Your Private Information

I will never use Airbnb again. They try to collect all your personal and private information, and there is no guarantee that you will get the booked apartment. Yes, hotels and apartments from sites like are not as cheap as those on Airbnb but you are not treated like a criminal.

Yesterday, my husband and I found cheap flights to Malaga and decided to spend some days in the South of Spain. So, we bought plane tickets and booked an apartment on Airbnb in Malaga. We paid the total amount in advance. Today we received an SMS from the host telling us that the reservation had been cancelled because he forgot to update his Airbnb account. On November 1st, his apartment was not available.

We chose another apartment. When we started to reserve it, a message appeared asking to upload a copy of an ID. My husband uploaded a photo of his driver’s licence but it was not enough. The next message asked him to take a selfie. Airbnb insisted he take selfie with their mobile App but we ignored this recommendation because we didn’t want to have any spyware or malware in our mobile phones. My husband took a selfie using the webcam on his desktop.

In less than an hour we received a new message from Airbnb asking to upload one more selfie because the uploaded selfie was not clear enough. The uploaded selfie was more than clear. What games are they playing? Why do they want to collect all your private data? We agree that for security reasons Airbnb may ask for some information but… it’s too much. First of all, we also live in Spain. We paid with a Spanish credit card. We have Spanish mobile phones. We don’t use Proxy, TOR, or VPN when making reservations. Why are we so suspicious? Can’t they find us on Facebook?

Sorry, Airbnb, but we are not stupid and don’t want to expose our private lives, friends, and photos to the whole world. We don’t want to install their app. They already have enough information. They have our names and surnames. They have our credit card number, that is saved on their servers. They have our mobile phone number (in Spain there are no anonymous mobile phone numbers). Even all prepaid SIM card users must identify themselves when buying one. They have our email address. They have our IP address. Is this not enough? A copy of our driver’s licence… okay… is this still not enough? A selfie? Okay. Still not enough…? Another selfie? Now we are waiting for new messages from Airbnb. What will they ask for next? A nude photo? Childhood photos? All family member photos? Bank account information?

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. They hounded me too, for my photo ID, both front and back. Then my selfie. But I disabled my laptop camera and I refuse to download the app. So, instead if fiddling with my camera settings, I canceled my account. I’ll stick to craigslist.

  2. That’s good you didn’t give them the info. I read about their terms of use of the information you give them. They basically said they give the information over to the IRS, to help them keep up with you and your tax information, which is totally unrelated to AirBnb. They also give it to law enforcement agencies, and a few other places I don’t remember.

    Then there was that scandal with the AirBnb hosts taking pictures of their guests’ personal information, and sharing it in facebook groups to talk crap about them.

  3. I am quite surprised that hosts solicit feedback about me. Why am I supposed to be graded by hosts? I have no contractual relationship with them.

  4. I’m both a host and guest on Airbnb (had good and bad experiences) but from the host perspective I only take guests who have their ID verified, a clear face picture, zero negative reviews and a full profile. I wont see the personal my details, I don’t care about that but I want to feel safe welcoming a stranger in my house. And from the guest perspective I wouldn’t be offended by that. When you go to a hotel they also take your passport details and sometimes even copy it.

    But if you don’t feel comfortable giving your photo and passeport details to a website or app then yes it’s better for you not using Airbnb.

    Actually reading your story I would have been super pissed with the cancelation not the ID thing

  5. If this is the way Airbnb is heading with ID requirements for people who have been long-time guests on the site then Airbnb can go fuck off. Besides, ID should be applicable also to hosts. There are too many dodgy-looking properties on Airbnb. Only the other day a host suggested I pay for his apartment through his own website to save me Airbnb fees. Yeah, delete.

  6. I can’t believe they want drivers license and passport images uploaded. I had used airbnb three times (with good and bad experiences) and aganst my better judgement, I was looking on airbnb and found a place as I was travelling with a dog and it’s really hard to find places sometimes, I went into my account to message the host to ask about bringing my dog and before I could airbnb’s account system wanted me upload my passport which I refused and wanted access to my facebook account which I woulnd’t do… so then I deleted my account. They already have so much information on me from the previous bookings….why in the world would they need even more? the more I read on here the more relieved I feel for having deleted my account but I still don’t trust that my info is not still in their system or having been sold to a 3rd party

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