Privacy Data Rights, or Lack Thereof, with Airbnb

This is not a guest or host or neighbor story, but those are the only categories. In July 2019, I opened an Airbnb account. Airbnb’s unprofessional and disorganized conduct led me to cancel my account within about 24 hours of opening it. Airbnb’s response was that it was permitted to continue to maintain and use my data, even if my account was closed.

I asked Airbnb to show me the contract language that allowed that. Airbnb failed and refused to do so. After a long message thread over several days, Airbnb referred me to their “Airbnb Community” department. He said he would follow the privacy protection laws, but only if I would send additional private data, to “verify” my identity. Airbnb claimed it did not copy my personal information, but has refused to tell me whether, and to whom, Airbnb has already shared or uploaded my personal information.

Furthermore, my research indicates that in order to verify anyone’s identity in compliance with the law, a company need only verify my email address. I’ve asked Airbnb to refer me to the authority on which it relies to demand even more personal data before erasing my personal data, and it has wholly failed to respond.

This is only a summary of the details. I have reported this to the FTC, the California BBB, the GDPR in the EU (I am a US and Canadian citizen with residency in Italy), Complaintsboard.com, and to a writer for The Washington Post. If anyone has any suggestions on any other agencies who would be interested in this problem, please post them.

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

2 Comments

  1. Have you read their terms and conditions and privacy policy? There are specific ways to withdraw your consent to their use your information that are pretty concrete. Have you completed those? In reading the terms, it seems as if they need to keep certain records to protect themselves from liability and harm, too. Nothing about it is extraordinary, and they seem to be in compliance with some pretty strict EU laws.

  2. Yes,me as well waiting for someone who could help me find a legal advisor who could take up my case against air bnb.
    Fair bnb replied with “we are not accepting any cases against air bnb presently”

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