AirBnB has put forward a new system for verifying the users online as well as offline called Verified ID. They are claiming it as a system to improve trust among the AirBnB community.
Now the company is verifying already existing users in random and will request all the guest users to get verified before they can finish the reservation. The host can also request for verification and if requested the customers must be verified already or should get verified to book with that particular host. Another option to verify yourself is to directly go to dashboard and click the Add Verification link.
Verification has got two parts mainly offline and online proofs. For offline proofs they are considering any Govt issued ID cards like passport, License etc, the user should upload the image of the same or should take the photo. Facebook, linkedin and Google is being considered as the online identity and users are requested to attach their profile with already existing AirBnB profile. If the user is not active online he is out of luck.
The user’s profile @ AirBnB should also have the profile photo, email address as well as a phone number. The user is also supposed to upload a profile video. After providing these details and getting verified from the other end the user will have a Verified ID Badge for his profile.
Giving our personal information out is always a matter that need some skepticism. Ensuring the identity of a person and there by building the trust is really a good thing but the questions is, Why are we required to connect out social profile with a third party?. If you check out how AirBnB uses the information we provide or make available to them, it’s clearly mentioned that it is to “perform analytics, conduct research, and for advertising and marketing” and I think security and trust is not the main concern here. If you believe in a free an open world or privacy and NSA bothers you then don’t forget to read the Terms & Conditions you will find the snippet “your data may be sent to the United States and possibly other countries”.
From a user point of view I don’t know whether getting verified myself is good or not or what AirBnB is going to do with all this information. The only thing we can do is to follow what they putting forward if we want to continue using their service. But certainly I will never advise other OTAs to come forward with this kind of system as I don’t want to get verified in each and every website. Building trust by user and host reviews is never a bad way.
Image Credits : airbnb
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