Took about 3 hours and much scanning, etc. to meet Airbnb's requests. Have used Airbnb back in 2016 and early 2017, and booked a stay in August just about a week ago.
Have been searching Airbnb for a future stay over the past month almost every other day, to stay in a city that is having a convention. Hard to find places that are reasonable and even available 6 months in advance. A host and I were having a good conversation and they gave me a deal - they changed the price on the dates of interest for me, and all I had to do was book it. I couldn't! When I went to book it, Airbnb said my original photo (that allowed 3 other bookings) was not a quality photo and they wanted a new one. I don't like having photos on line, but in order to continue, I clicked on the link to load another photo that I have on my laptop. Well, just a regular photo is not sufficient - they wanted a License, Passport or Visa.
This, from the standpoint of hacking and giving out important docs is a no-no. BUT, I did scan my license, front and back, scanned both sides and loaded it. They then wanted a photo, and it had to be loaded via their app (apparently on a smart phone) or via the browser. I don't have a smart phone and though I've had a laptop with a camera, I had never used it as I don't have a reason to and it is also a security risk.
The camera didn't want to work. After about 2 hours, I got the camera to work - I had upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10, and the drivers were not apparently good. So I found the drivers and installed. Now the camera seemed to want to work. I had the web browser/camera take a pic. After ALL this, it allowed me to continue, to book, but only got so far. They then told me that I had to redo the license because I had scanned it in Black and White. So I rescanned in color, both sides, loaded it up. Took another photo via the camera, and went ahead. Got another error indicating that the license had to be an unmodified scan/image. I had modified the area of my social security number, as again, this is a major violation of security and this is going to be stored on line where Airbnb WILL eventually get hacked. So I had to rescan the license, again in color, and this time give up my own personal security. This worked and I got to make the request to book for the dates and apparently at the price that the host and I agreed to, assuming that all is well, but it is now in the host's hands. (Though I think I have resolved my issues, past experience indicates they will not like something or another thing will come up.)
I had contacted Airbnb Customer Service when I had the issues noted above - not an easy task by the way. I explained that I had been a member for 3 years plus, had used Airbnb twice in the past, had just booked a $1000 stay last week and was now being challenged. (I was challenged a few months back, but I got an email out to customer service and she said that it was a mistake and reset things.) One of the two hosts in the past indicated that they would love to have me back as I was the cleanest person that they had rented too - also said from a small hotel I stayed in in Sri Lanka. I was on the line with the rep for about 5 mins on hold as he checked to see what could be done about not using my camera on my laptop. Problem is that most people have phones that access the internet, can text, can do photos - not my flip phone. I was told there was no way around this - so I had to go to a library, use a friends computer or find another computer/device with an internet connection where I could log into my account and take that photo.
Having ones License, Passport or Visa information stored away in a company's database is not a very re-assuring thing, especially with all the hacking that goes on. I've had a government secret clearance in the past, and we are taught to fly under the radar - photos, IDs, important social security numbers, etc. shouldn't readily be given out. I try to keep a very low profile - I have been the host of my own tv show, have appeared on tv shows/books/magazines/newspapers, etc. I don't want my information or photos floating around out there - one is asking for trouble if this info is out there at all.
If I have been using Airbnb for a few years, had good reviews, there have been no issues with payment or issues of any kind, I can't see the reason for them to demand all the info that was recently requested. This was also a timely issue - as a host had made some changes so that I could do a booking, asap.
Those using Airbnb are walking on egg shells - just waiting for them to have issues with data loss due to hacking. This important information shouldn't be in the hands of a company like this.