I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
New South Wales, Australia
Level 2
1,682 Views

Hi hosts!

 

Hoping to get your input and opinion on this please!

After submitting a review for my guests, i am always prompted to refer Hosting to my friends to make some $$$.

 

When I click on the "More sugestions"  button,  Airbnb then proceeds to list out all my past guests along with their personal email address.

This only happens on the airbnb mobile app when I click on "more suggestions" - personal emails are not shown through the browser on my laptop.

 

I have contacted airbnb to report this as my understanding was that all personal email addresses should remain private.    However they have repeatedly replied telling me this is correct and that it is not a privacy breach.  

 

To me, it contradicts this link:    https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/694/how-will-my-email-address-look-to-other-people

 

Do you guys agree?  Or hopefully you can explain it to me better than the airbnb support person I was chatting to 🙂

Thanks!

24 Replies

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

Whoa, @Marj12, look at that! You are right. I just went to Suggested Referrals on my phone and then to Show More Suggestions, and there they all were! We don't get their private emails when they book or stay, but we do in order to "suggest" them as hosts?! 

I'm with you. This does not feel right.

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Atascosa, TX
Level 10

@Marj12  Here's their policy on emails, oops...

 

How will my email address look to other people?

We don't share your personal email address even after you have a confirmed reservation. Instead, we create a unique, temporary Airbnb address for you, and share that with your host or guest. Keeping your real personal email address hidden helps protect your privacy, and prevent unwanted communication from people who may abuse our system.

Any emails sent to your temporary Airbnb address are forwarded to your personal email address. This lets you use your email provider to send or reply to messages, attach files (up to 15 MB), and include links.

A host's anonymized email address might look like:

  • Personal email address: john.lastname@exampleemail.com
  • Temporary Airbnb address: john-abc123xyz@host.airbnb.com

A guest's anonymized email address might look like:

  • Personal email address: jane.lastname@exampleemail.com
  • Temporary Airbnb address: jane-def456@guest.airbnb.com

We recommend communicating using the Airbnb messaging system, but we recognize that sometimes you'll need to attach photos, directions, or other information in an email. These addresses let you send emails like your normally would—with an extra layer of security.

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/694/how-will-my-email-address-look-to-other-people

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

Level 10

@Marj12   I agree. Looks like Abb have a serious glitch.

I suggest going to Help on your dashboard and Contact Us and then scroll down to the end of the page and click and keep clicking  "I need more help" until a message box finally appears - and input your question. They respond fairly quickly and seems they are somewhat more considered in their responses.  I find when I call I get myriad conflicting  on-the-fly answers that have little bearing on their written policy.  However, having said that their policy does not always manifest in same practise, whether through glitches,  who knows.

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
New South Wales, Australia
Level 2
 
@Lawrene0@Ange2@Letti0 - Thanks guys - I feel alittle more sane now 🙂
 
@Ange2 - I've actually only tried messaging them - was planning on calling them but maybe not now! 😄
My first time messaging them drove me alittle nuts.. and all i was trying to do was let them know about the bug and privacy breach.   
 
Here is the last of the message trail before I gave up and decided to post the question to the airbnb community: 
 
Me: "Hi Maggie, thanks for the reply. are you saying, as long as I have hosted a guest, I am entitled to see their real personal email address? -opposed to the encrypted one which usually appears when you choose to email them? this means I have the ability to spam them or provide their email address to others. I'm pretty sure when i signed up, I was advised our contact email was hidden - unless the rules have changed and I am not aware? as mentioned previously, the referrals I was suggested are people whom I have hosted once and have no other association with and yet I can see their personal email addresses. are you saying this is correct? thanks."
 
Airbnb: "Hi Marjorie, I understand your point, believe me. I do not want you to walk away from this situation frustrated or angry. I would rather have the opportunity to help turn a negative situation into a positive one. If there is a way I can help to do that, I did already. Unfortunately, I cannot be of any assistance and information anymore about your concern as I am just simply referring to our Privacy policy.

Please refer to this link and I hope this will help because all the answers are already here:
https://www.airbnb.com/terms/privacy_policy
  
For now, I will be closing this message thread. If you have further concerns, even though we are far apart I will try my best to help as soon as I can. Kindly remember I am just a message away!
I hope you'll understand."
 
Me: "hi Maggie, apologies if I sounded angry. I will rephrase. I would just like confirmation from you that as long as I have hosted a guest, I am entitled to see that guest's personal email address. Can you please confirm if that is correct? Also, do my guests have access to see my personal email address? if you can answer those two specific questions, that would be appreciated. thanks."
 
Airbnb: "Yes, that is correct, you can view it but your guest don't"
 
 
 
 

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

Level 10

@Marj12   I wonder if the guest knows that a host can collect their personal emails?

AIRBNB:  We don't share your personal email address even after you have a confirmed reservation. Instead, we create a unique, temporary Airbnb address for you, and share that with your host or guest. Keeping your real personal email address hidden helps protect your privacy, and prevent unwanted communication from people who may abuse our system.

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

I think I will screenshot what comes up for me, @Marj12@Ange2@Letti0, and send it via DM to AirbnbHelp. Funny that Maggie thought you were being angry and negative, Marj! I guess it says a lot about her day, poor thing. Anyway, will let you know what comes of it. 

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
New South Wales, Australia
Level 2

Yeah let us know if you have more luck @Lawrene0!  I had also sent them a screenshot showing all the personal emails yet they seem adamant that there's nothing wrong!

 

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

I did screenshot it and sent it yesterday, @Marj12. It was marked as seen right away, but no answer. I expect (and hope!) they triage messages, and deal with all the crises first, so I look forward to a delay. 

My ask is that the second screen (Show More Suggestions) appear as the first screen (Suggested Referrals) with only profile pics and names. No private email addresses, since the privacy policy does lull us into thinking no one is getting those. It makes it a joke to create those system-generated addresses when in another area of the app we can (rather creepily) see a selection of past guests' contact information. 

I see you are on it, @Lizzie!  This is good!

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Honolulu, HI
Level 6

I will go ahead and warn you, this is so advanced in it's complete takeover, that the screenshowts you take will change when you send them.  I swear. I am not  making this up.  I also read somewhere to be nice to the people who you are speaking with b/c they do not work for Airbnb!   (Do what?)

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
New South Wales, Australia
Level 2

@Ange2,   i really doubt it! i use airbnb as a guest as well so im pretty sure my email is floating around out there now haha. 

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

Probably not, @Marj12. These are suggested referrals for hosting, and since we are already hosts, we are likely exempt. It would be only the guests who are not hosts who are compromised, I think. 

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Honolulu, HI
Level 6

Oh, no it isn't Airbnb's website (there is no way)..It has to be everyone's computer or devices have been hacked by someone!!! (SARCASM).  I have been trying to tell them for over a week now that their site is hacked.  When I went into Bank of America yesterday, they knew exactly what I was talking about.  In my opinion, if Airbnb is going to collect as much sensivitve information, if not more than your bank they need to tighten up security big time! 

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
New South Wales, Australia
Level 2

@John0, i know its so frustrating that our message isnt getting across to them. Why is it so difficult just to let them know of a problem!?  For me i think the issue isnt getting the attention it needs because the airbnb support staff I dealt with didnt have the proper knowledge to realise this is actually a defect and airbnb is not 'working as designed'.

Re: I can see my all my guest's personal email addresses - shouldn't this be private?

in
Honolulu, HI
Level 6

It is most definitely not working as designed to say the least!!!!   I have been trying to tell them, and I can only say it in so many ways, that their site has been compromised.  I can't even go into all of the multiple issues I have had, but the last I heard it was my problem...that I had some virus or malware.....nope that is not it at all.  I was either speaking with the Russian hackers, or Airbnb through email, but either way one or the other admitted they were aware of the duplicate Russian website running on top of the real "secure" website, and any information I could send them would be helpful in figuring out the problem.  Then I realize that the email that I was responding to was connected to all of the other emails, I thought were suspicious.   It is so incredibly difficult when you don't know who the real Airbnb is,  I have still not got an anwer to my question, if there was no unauthorized (or authorized by Airbnb?) change in my payout method, did why did I get a payout to an account that is not set as default and is not set to receive payments for any listing at all.  They are for some reason not answering this question or they are not gettting this question. 

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