Airbnb has an artistic interpretation of the law; I guess a lawyer would call it blackmail. Read this exchange for yourself:
“Your company has been warned by the Dutch DPA that it is illegal to demand BSN numbers in your authentication protocol. Your company has agreed to stop doing this, but you are not. The BSN number is in two places on a dutch ID, and you are refusing my payout because I cover up both BSN numbers. Your customer service refuses to help. I now have to send away guests that have payed a lot of money because of your company’s unwillingness to comply with local law an your own terms and conditions and blocking my payout.
It seems like blackmail to block payments from people that do not comply with your illegal demands. I am only emailing you because the customer service is not helpful at all and my bills are running up, and the guests are the victims of this.
You are breaking multiple laws; you can read up on the problem on this government website. Basically you cannot ask to leave the lower line of the passport/driver’s license visible because it contains the BSN number (which you also ask to cover up in the description) . You can also not ask to show the photo (which I did leave visible for you). You are not allowed to ask for a copy of the ID at all.
I expect a big global company to at least read the laws regarding these things. If the dutch people that already have sent this illegal content to Airbnb find out they can demand it back and demand a IT professional to check the Airbnb system if you really erased this illegal content. If you think otherwise, so did Facebook. I would like to comply with your ID process but not by breaking multiple laws in the process (and I will not make a problem of the photo).
By the way with a BSN number you can put someone in huge debt for the rest of their life, this is the reason it is illegal to demand or even ask for it in the Netherlands. Sure your multi billion company ‘didn’t know’ , but now you do. So please comply with the law and stop blocking my payments. Did I already mention it is illegal for you to ask for a copy of an ID at all?”
I’m with Airbnb Support. I’ll be helping you today. Give me a moment while I look into your case. At this time, you payout is temporarily held until you complete the verification processed that is required by our Terms of Service.
“Your terms of service break multiple laws.”
I understand your concerns, however, you have agreed to our Terms of Services and this is a requirement.
“The law says you can not ask for my BSN number, and you even acknowledge this in your process description. The BSN number is in two places on a Dutch ID, one on the lower line which you demand to stay visible. It has nothing to do with your terms if your terms say to break Dutch law. I am still not permitted by law to comply.”
That is up to you if you do not wish to upload your ID. However, Airbnb will not release any payout until you complete this process.
“I will send a copy of this conversation to the authorities (they say if I cannot work it out with you they will contact you. you are demanding things that are prohibited by law. If your terms say that I should break national and European law and you think your rules apply here I have sincere doubts about your willingness and/or competence to solve the issue. Thank you for the conversation.”
Since I am not sure if your issue is resolved, I am forwarding this ticket to a member of our team who can best assist you. You should hear back from us soon.
“Ok, I will postpone contacting the authorities until further contact (if this doesn’t take too long).”
2.4 User verification on the Internet is difficult and we do not assume any responsibility for the confirmation of any Member’s identity. Notwithstanding the above, for transparency and fraud prevention purposes, and as permitted by applicable laws, we may, but have no obligation to (i) ask Members to provide a form of government identification or other information or undertake additional checks designed to help verify the identities or backgrounds of Members, (ii) screen Members against third party databases or other sources and request reports from service providers, and (iii) where we have sufficient information to identify a Member, obtain reports from public records of criminal convictions or sex offender registrations or an equivalent version of background or registered sex offender checks in your local jurisdiction (if available).
7.2.3 You represent and warrant that any Listing you post and the booking of, or a Guest’s stay at, an Accommodation will (i) not breach any agreements you have entered into with any third parties, such as homeowners association, condominium, or other agreements, and (ii) comply with all applicable laws (such as zoning laws), Tax requirements, and other rules and regulations (including having all required permits, licenses and registrations). As a Host, you are responsible for your own acts and omissions and are also responsible for the acts and omissions of any individuals who reside at or are otherwise present at the Accommodation at your request or invitation, excluding the Guest and any individuals the Guest invites to the Accommodation.
8.3.1 You should carefully review the description of any Experience, Event or other Host Service you intend to book to ensure you (and any additional guests you are booking for) meet any minimum age, proficiency, fitness or other requirements which the Host has specified in their Listing. At your sole discretion you may want to inform the Host of any medical or physical conditions, or other circumstances that may impact your and any additional guest’s ability to participate in any Experience, Event or other Host Service. In addition, certain laws, like the minimum legal drinking age in the location of the Experience, Event or other Host Service, may also apply. You are responsible for identifying, understanding, and complying with all laws, rules and regulations that apply to your participation in an Experience, Event or other Host Service.
14.1 You are solely responsible for compliance with any and all laws, rules, regulations, and Tax obligations that may apply to your use of the Airbnb Platform. In connection with your use of the Airbnb Platform, you will not and will not assist or enable others to: • breach or circumvent any applicable laws or regulations, agreements with third-parties, third-party rights, or our Terms, Policies or Standards.
“If you carefully read the above parts of your own terms, you will see you are violating your own terms and conditions. If you read point 14.1, it states that if I comply with your illegal request for my BSN I am breaching your terms so I have to abide by local laws by all means (according to you) and by doing that you will not pay out anything. So please stop violating local laws, European laws, and your own terms and conditions.”
My last message to the help center was closed without a reply, so I am copying it over to this conversation.
“You (Airbnb, Inc.) are breaking term 2.4, and you are demanding I break 7.2.3, 8.3.1 and 14.1 of the Airbnb terms and conditions. If you think this is not the case a two-minute phone call to the Dutch authorities will clear this up for you. Therefore I once again politely ask you to stop blocking my payments and resolve the issue. For further details you can read my previous conversation with the help center. I already know my previous conversation is forwarded to someone who is ‘supposed to know’ what to do with it. I do not feel its my responsibility to teach you the law and that I should wait for an x amount of time before you make a two-minute phone call and then (if the stars and moon are correctly aligned) unblock my payments. I am following the Airbnb terms and conditions and I expect the same from Airbnb.
I have no decent response from your side. I have guests running up costs at the moment and you are blocking payment for their costs. Are you going to arrange other accommodations for these guests? I can not let them stay for free. I will forward our correspondence to the Dutch DPA tomorrow morning (because you are forcing me to send my BSN, which is prohibited by law). I would rather resolve the problem with Airbnb but I am a mere mortal who has bills to pay. I hope to hear from you (soon).”
Again, customer service closed the conversation without a reply.
“You (Airbnb, Inc) are breaking the terms and conditions (and the local laws) and refusing to pay me. My previous conversations about this have been forwarded to someone that apparently can help me. However, if I don’t get a reply, I am going to send away my guests tomorrow because of your total lack of cooperation. I will inform them this evening about this.”
Thanks for your message — Airbnb Support will reply as soon as a specialist becomes available.
“So Airbnb support will reply? Please don’t close this conversation without a reply like you did last time.”