I got a message via Airbnb from a guest who wanted to book our place but wouldn’t because Airbnb is asking her to provide front and back images of her gov’t. ID. She’s been a member since 2016 but has not been asked to do this before and feels it’s a potential threat for identify theft. She suggests that we host try to get Airbnb to not do this. Here’s my response to her:
I’m sorry that you feel this is a potential problem. Since we hosts have strangers in our homes (ours is a separate cabin but many share their homes with guests), we are concerned that those who book are really indeed who they say they are. I’m sure this is why Airbnb has this process to try to secure the identity of guests. Hosts never see this info but by providing it to the company, they know that potential guests are legit and that there is recourse should there be issues with guests following a stay. (A guest could hide his identity, steal everything from a place and the host would not be able to track him down…but Airbnb can.) Hotels also take down information (I always have to show my DL as well as a credit card when checking in), so our information is out there. But you have to be comfortable with what you give out, and if what Airbnb asks of you is beyond your comfort level, then sadly Airbnb accommodations are not for you.