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Complaint to OAIC about Airbnb's collection and use of user data

June 2022

data eye with airbnb logo

CHOICE has referred Airbnb Australia to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to investigate potential breaches of the Privacy Act 1988 in relation to Australian Privacy Principles (APP) 3 and 10.

Key issues

CHOICE finds issue with Airbnb's practices for two main reasons:

  1. Lack of notice and consent in the collection of information: Airbnb is collecting information about its users from third parties without seeking consent from those individuals. Airbnb has not been transparent in its description of how its users' personal, including sensitive information, will be collected and used when they agree to use the service. This diminishes the individual's control over their data and privacy.
  2. Profiling and discrimination: Airbnb is using the sensitive information, collected without meaningful consent, in its automated decision making (ADM) tool to make assessments of its users' suitability. Without sufficient transparency and explainability, Airbnb may be engaging in profiling and discriminatory practices through its ADM tool.

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