Airbnb is committed to protecting the safety of its community of members as well as protecting their data privacy rights.
Since 2016, Airbnb has produced an annual Transparency Report as a means of offering transparency and insight into the requests for user information we receive from law enforcement and government authorities globally, and how we respond to these requests.
This report provides information regarding law enforcement requests that Airbnb has received during the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019.
Types of Requests We Receive
While criminal incidents related to the use of our platform remain rare, Airbnb actively works with law enforcement to protect the safety and privacy rights of hosts, guests, and our community at large. Airbnb receives the following types of requests from law enforcement and government agencies globally:
General Inquiries: Questions in relation to how to request information on a user.
Legal Process Requests: Requests seek information including personal information about users of the Airbnb platforms in the form of legal process, such as legal requests, subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, requests pursuant to MLAT, or similar forms of process, addressed to the relevant Airbnb entity.
Emergency Disclosure Requests: These requests for disclosure of user information without legal process must relate to an emergency involving an imminent risk of death or serious physical injury to any person.
Types of User Information Requested
The type of information requested by law enforcement agencies varies depending on the case under investigation. However, as described in our Law Enforcement Guidelines, the type of information that may be requested may include user account information, information pertaining to transactions conducted on our platform, and in some instances, subject to specific legal process, contents of communications.
How We Respond to Requests
In certain emergency situations, Airbnb will disclose user information without legal process, such as when we have reason to believe, in good faith, that the disclosure of information is required to prevent the imminent risk of death or serious physical injury to any person.
Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Guidelines describes our process for receiving and evaluating requests from law enforcement and government authorities. Where Airbnb identifies a legal deficiency in a formal request for user information, including legal deficiencies with any related non-disclosure order, Airbnb’s practice is to inform the requesting authority about the deficiency and indicate what the appropriate process would be. The law enforcement authority may not always elect to pursue the request by obtaining a compliant legal process or correcting the deficiency, which means Airbnb consequently does not disclose the related user information.
Notification to Users
Where Airbnb identifies a legal deficiency in a non-disclosure order, Airbnb’s practice is to inform the requesting law enforcement authority about the deficiency and indicate what the appropriate process would be. In the case of valid non-disclosure orders, Airbnb’s policy is to comply with the non-disclosure order unless the requesting law enforcement authority elects not to correct any identified deficiency or the order is withdrawn by the requesting law enforcement authority (or formally challenged by Airbnb).
Key Law Enforcement Response Statistics – Jan. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019
Law Enforcement Requests Received
During the period covered by this report, Airbnb received legal process requests from 49 countries/regions. These requests come from various law enforcement and government authorities, globally.
|Total law enforcement inquiries or requests for user information||Total requests where some form of legal process was served (includes invalid/incomplete legal process)||Total requests for which at least some user information was disclosed||Total user accounts affected|
User Accounts Affected: Legal process requests from law enforcement sometimes include requests for more than one user account. Accounts “affected” means the total number of accounts for which at least some information was disclosed in response to law enforcement requests. Where a countries/region’s number indicates a higher number of ‘user accounts affected’ than ‘requests for which at least some account information was disclosed’, this is due to one or more requests calling for information in relation to a number of user accounts to be disclosed, for reasons justified by the legal process received.
Invalid Legal Process Requests:48.67% of the requests received during 2019 were either invalid / incomplete requests, or did not comply with our policies pursuant to Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Guidelines or applicable laws, and therefore we did not disclose user information.
All other legal process submitted by law enforcement resulted in user information being disclosed, because it complied with Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Guidelines, and applicable laws.
Disclosure Rates: Disclosure rate by regions where law enforcement submitted some form of legal process are:
|Europe, Middle East and Africa||29.48%|
The disclosure rate is substantially affected by whether law enforcement follows up on our initial response, when their request and/or non-disclosure order is not in compliance with Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Guidelines and applicable laws. In addition, there are cases where we do not have any responsive user account information, even though the law enforcement request may be valid, and as a result there is no information to disclose.
Legal process requests by Countries/Regions – Jan. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019
|Countries/Regions||Requests Received||Requests for Which at Least Some Account Information was Disclosed||Disclosure Rate||Number of User Accounts Affected by Disclosure|
|Hong Kong (SAR)||1||0||0.00%||0|
Emergency disclosure requests by country/region – Jan. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019
|Countries/Regions||Requests for Which at Least Some Account Information was Disclosed||Number of User Accounts Affected by Disclosure|