Airbnb has grown extensively in the past few years and I have been contemplating using their services few times, but always bailed out. The cost saving over hotel accommodation with one of the chains that I use have never been significant enough.
Now, Airbnb has started to require something called “verified Identification” in some instances.
You can verify your identification by sending Airbnb a copy of your passport or drivers license or by replying some personal history questions likely drawn from LexisNexis databases such as old street addresses, where you have lived, and last four digits of your social security number.
The “verification” of the uploaded ID’s is performed by another company called Jumio. You can read Airbnb’s spin about this requirement here.
I would never trust neither Airbnb nor Jumio with copies of my passport info page or any other form of government issued identification without knowing how this information is stored, for how long, where, and how this information could be purged.
Also, how they are able to assure users that this information is securely stored? I get emails monthly from US companies that have had their databases hacked and my personal information unintentionally released to wrong hands.