Here is the problem, AirBnB and other businesses like AirBnB do not scale for the following reasons:
These businesses are faced with a challenge of a double edge sword in nature. That is, hosts are demanding verification using government ID, while technically-savvy guests like myself and others who understand the risk of providing sensitive information are fighting back against giving PII data. For anyone who doesn't know what PII means, it stands for "Personal Identifiable Information"; this includes: full name, address, date of birth, phone number, social security number, or national ID numbers, in the case of other countries, etc.
While full name is an acceptable risk to provide because one can argue that it is public knowledge than can be found with little to no effort through Google search, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc. other PII information such as Driver License, Social Security Number, National ID Number, etc. are considered extremely sensitive in nature and should only be shared with government agencies, financial institutions, and employers.
Anyone who follow the news about the risk of digital data knows that the issue we face globally is serious and is caused by businesses collecting unnecessary PII/PCI data that they don't need and their inability to provide bullet proof protection of such data. The reality is, there is no bullet proof method to protect this data a 100% and even a reasonable level of protection is costly to businesses and thus they go out of their way to not protect such data no matter how many times they falsely claim that they have the best security.
People should rigidly and persistently decline to provide any business any PII data or any other type of data that is considered sensitive. People should publicly shame companies who demand such data, including "date of birth". No legitimate business, other than employer, financial institution you do business with (your bank/credit union), or gov't agency, have any legitimacy to request sensitive data. Yes, your data of birth is sensitive and should not be given other businesses, including Facebook or other social media. Many companies claim that Date of Birth is necessary to ensure the person is above 18 years of age. This is none-sense because all they need is to ask: Are you 18 years of age or older? Companies claim that by doing so, one could lie and say Yes. This is a stupid logic because someone could like about their date of birth anyway. Please remember that once you sensitive data is on the internet or held by a business, it can never be taken back specially with the US having no privacy laws to protect people.
So what is the solution? How do you protect hosts who, rightfully, wants a level of assurance that potential guests of their property are legitimate and responsible? The answer is simple. There are many other ways to verify the identity of someone and establish trust without requesting any sensitive information and without placing everyone's identity at risk.
Businesses can use services that provides what's called "public information" that generally only the individual being verified knows of such data. For example. AirBnB and other businesses can establish a first line of trust and verification by requesting minimal information such as first and last name and home address, both are considered PII information, but are acceptable information to share.
Once the full name is mapped to a home address and verified through public information service that the name does in fact map to an address, AirBnB can ask a series of additional multiple-choice questions from public record services. An example of such questions are:
Which address did you live in between 1998 and 2009:
a) <address 1>
b) <address 2>
c) <address 3>
d) none of the above
Between the year 2012 and 2016, you obtained a loan for which amount?
a) $10,000 - $20,000
b) $100,000 - $200,000
c) $70,000 - $110,000
d) none of the above
Which of the following employers have you worked for in the past
a) employer 1
b) employer 2
c) employer 3
d) none of the above
You catch my drift. The full name and address helps the business establish an identity and verify that it's true based on public record by mapping the name to the address. The additional series of questions provides further assurance that the person is who they claim to be. The business must ensure that once a question is answered and submitted, it cannot be changed and no indication on whether the response was right or wrong should be provided back to prevent social and reverse engineering attacks.
This methods provides the same level of verification and assurance to the hosts all while protecting the identity and sensitive information of all AirBnB customers by not collecting such data to begin with thus relieving the business from the hassle of having to protect such data or the negative and financial impact of a compromise in the event the company was collecting sensitive data.
This is far-fetched at best. You’re really arguing ‘no legitimate business’ should care to ask for a driver’s license? Have you ever stayed at a hotel? Applied for a credit card? Rented a car?
The questions you’ve suggested instead of asking for government ID are both subjective and vary wildly. Loan amounts? What? Not everybody has a loan, but I’m willing to bet most people have ID. AirBNB uses third party verification to collect and store all IDs that are submitted through the site. If I can find your name and address in a phone book, I don’t see what information I shouldn’t be privy to on a driver’s license...your date of birth is also public record.
If you’re not comfortable sharing your information with legitimate businesses, that’s your prerogative. But that’s not how the real world functions, and hosts who share their homes with strangers rightfully want to feel protected where their reservations (and assets) are concerned.
You might want to look into the history, reputation, reliability and trustworthiness of that third-party company to whom Airbnb outsources its ID Verification processes. You may not feel quite so protected where your reservations and assets are concerned anymore.
I’m well aware - and it’s a risk I’m fine with taking. AirBNB isn’t the only entity that has my ID, and I’m confident the same can be said for most people here. Y’all are hellbent on picking this platform apart in every possible way - OP’s post is a little too tinfoil hat for my tastes. Nobody forces anyone to be a part of AirBNB. If it doesn’t suit your needs, find a different one. It’s funny to me that hosts here cry wolf and want AirBNB a to ‘protect’ them, but then rail against the very measures they have in place to attempt to do just that. You can’t have it both ways.
You're well aware that the company to whom Airbnb entrusts the collection, processing and retention of your guests' most sensitive (and valuable) personal information, has a recent history of fraud, embezzlement, serious financial and accounting irregularities, bankruptcy filings, stalking-horse takeover bids by a key investor/Facebook co-founder (vetoed by the courts, citing "every red flag possible"), lawsuits and counter-lawsuits (including amongst its own board members), and that its founder was recently fined $17 million following an SEC investigation in relation to extensive fraudulent and criminal activity within the company? And you still think that's a risk worth taking?
Each to their own, I suppose.
Are you on Facebook? Instagram? TikTok? Yahoo mail? Hotmail? Stayed with Marriott International? Bank with First American Bank? JP Morgan Chase? Use EBay? Equifax? Adobe? Shop at Target? TJX? Home Depot? Use Uber? PlayStation?
All have had MAJOR data breaches (the list goes on) with ensuing lawsuits, fines, terminations, press releases, charges, you name it. Nobody is impervious. You take the same risks every day with any business that collects and stores your information, period.
"Y’all are hellbent on picking this platform apart in every possible way"
Not without good reason. If Airbnb conducted their business in a fair, just, ethical and lawful manner, there'd be nothing to pick apart, would there?
"It’s funny to me that hosts here cry wolf and want AirBNB a to ‘protect’ them, but then rail against the very measures they have in place to attempt to do just that"
That's the thing though; according to many sources - including the company's own employees - Airbnb executives themselves haven't actually been all that keen to implement the very measures they've been trumpeting to the world that they have in place to "protect" us..
Report: Airbnb Executives Opposed Requiring Govt ID To Join Platform Because "It Would Hurt Growth"
The company's vice president of trust, Margaret Richardson, also told the Wall Street Journal that running background checks could also be seen as discriminatory to certain groups such as formerly incarcerated people.
"Nobody forces anyone to be a part of AirBNB. If it doesn’t suit your needs, find a different one"
Oh please. That old chestnut. Can you not come up with something a little more original?
No, I’m not using ID at Home Depot and Target - (Canada doesn’t have Target *sobs quietly*) but they have the same information your ID has. Name, address, DOB. You conveniently ignored the others (are we pretending financial institutions don’t have more compromising information than AirBNB?) so agree to disagree, obviously.
Instead of telling me to come up with something more original, why don’t you tell AirBNB what your solution is? What would protect hosts without compromising a guest’s security? How do you expect a guest’s ID to be verified without providing any identifying information? This is rhetorical, of course - if the answer was simple, they’d have done it already. I won’t engage further, your feelings about AirBNB are abundantly clear and it’s hard to have discourse with those who don’t argue in good faith. All the best.
Would you just blithely hand over all your most sensitive personal information to any random person on the street, who you knew had been done for fraud? No? So why on earth would you do it online?
The only safe and effective way that hosts can be sure that the guests turning up at their door, are who they say they are, is for the host to check their IDs themselves.
It's also hard to have discourse with those whose arguments are grounded in nothing but whataboutery.
All the best to you too.
I agree to all of your notes here, I think that Susan17, lives in Ireland. I wonder the life is different from Canada, USA areas. They might shopping different way?
totally sounds like outsiders to me.
yes, I had guest canceled booking because he does not want to provide driver license ID. Worry about I sale it or what ever reasons. Hey, like you said, it is my property. How to I call on police if things happens on his watch in my property.
what do you think the police will say to me in USA:
You must be a fool to let people in without knowing his name? His birth? His driver license at all? No picture of the person neither. How do you want the police to catch him or search him? Why do you even calling police?
so, I say, I do not care what is the guest afraid of. They can go to hotel, and not trying to safe money to come to my property.
If they have good history, they have no reason to come to Airbnb platform. They can pick hotel and move from room to room. If they are trouble maker, all the hotel is getting better inform other hotels with dada.they may be refused from hotels already to come to try on Airbnb.