2017 Airbnb law enforcement transparency report

 Published 12/19/17

2017 Airbnb law enforcement transparency report

Airbnb is proud to publish our second Transparency Report, covering the period from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. The goal of this Transparency Report is to provide insight into the frequency of requests for personally identifiable information, where they come from, and how we respond to them. 

Requests for user information from law enforcement

Airbnb received law enforcement requests from 36 countries during the period covered by this report. While negative incidents related to the use of its platform are rare, Airbnb works with law enforcement to protect the rights of hosts, guests, and our community at large.

In most instances, Airbnb requires the production of a valid legal request in order to disclose identifiable non-public user information, although Airbnb will disclose user information without legal process in certain emergency situations, such as when we have reason to believe that the disclosure of information is required to prevent the imminent harm to an Airbnb user or a member of the public.  

Where Airbnb identifies a legal deficiency in a formal request for user information, Airbnb’s practice is to inform the requesting law enforcement agent about the deficiency and indicate what the appropriate process would be.  For the period covered by this report, Airbnb did not formally challenge the scope of any formal request for user information. In all instances documented in this report in which Airbnb did not provide user information in response to such a request from law enforcement, the requesting law enforcement officer elected not to pursue the request after being informed of the legal deficiency.  

More information can be found in our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Law Enforcement Guidelines.

Law Enforcement Requests Over Time

Time Period US Requests Non-US Requests Total Requests
1st Half of 2016 31 157 188
2nd Half of 2016 97 276 373
1st Half of 2017 64 495 559

Non-disclosure orders

Airbnb’s policy is to provide notice to users when we receive legal process from a third party seeking their information, such as law enforcement officials, unless we believe that doing so would be futile, ineffective, or create a risk of harm, or where we are legally prohibited from providing notice to the affected user.  New in this year’s report is information about non-disclosure orders that Airbnb received in connection with law enforcement requests for user information.

Where Airbnb identifies a legal deficiency in a non-disclosure order, Airbnb’s practice is to inform the requesting law enforcement agent about the deficiency and indicate what the appropriate process would be.  Unless the order is withdrawn by the requesting law enforcement official (or formally challenged by Airbnb), Airbnb’s policy is to comply with the non-disclosure order.

For the period between July 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, Airbnb received non-disclosure orders in connection with 126 requests for Airbnb user data, 111 of which resulted in user data disclosures without user notification.  For the period between January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017, Airbnb received non-disclosure orders in connection with 204 requests for Airbnb user data, 175 of which resulted in user data disclosures without user notification.

For the period covered by this report, Airbnb did not formally challenge the scope of any non-disclosure order.  In all such instances in which a non-disclosure order was initially provided to Airbnb by a requesting law enforcement officer and where an affected user was notified prior to when the user data at issue was disclosed, the requesting law enforcement officer withdrew the non-disclosure order or otherwise permitted user notification prior to when the user information was disclosed.

In the case of certain types of national security-related requests in the United States, such as with national security letters, Airbnb may be prohibited from not only providing user notice of the request but also from publicly acknowledging receiving it, such as in a transparency report like this one. To date, however, we have not received a national security letter or other similar request that would limit our ability to disclose it here.

More information can be found in our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Law Enforcement Guidelines.

Global law enforcement statistics (Jan. 1 - June 30, 2017)

559Total requests

229 Requests for which at least some account information was disclosed

307 Number of user accounts affected

40.6%  
Disclosure Rate

 

Jan. 1 – June 30, 2016

188
Total requests

82
Requests for which at least some account information was disclosed

172
Number of user accounts affected

43.6%
Disclosure Rate

July 1 – Dec. 31, 2016

373
Total requests

159
Requests for which at least some account information was disclosed

373
Number of user accounts affected

42.6%
Disclosure Rate

Law Enforcement Requests for July 1 through December 31, 2016, by Country

Country Requests Received Requests for Which at Least Some Account Information was Disclosed Disclosure Rate Number of Users Affected by Disclosure
Australia 9 6 67% 8
Austria 2 0 0% 0
Canada 5 3 60% 3
Czech Republic 3 0 0% 0
Finland 2 0 0% 0
France 87 43 49% 62
Germany 36 12 33% 15
Greece 1 0 0% 0
Hong Kong 1 0 0% 0
Ireland 2 1 50% 1
Israel 1 1 100% 1
Italy 14 2 14% 2
Korea 3 3 100% 4
Mexico 1 0 0% 0
Poland 2 1 50% 1
Russia 1 0 0% 0
Singapore 1 1 100% 3
Spain 50 19 38% 195
Sweden 2 0 0% 0
Switzerland 5 0 0% 0
Taiwan 1 0 0% 0
United Kingdom 47 18 38% 20
United States 97 49 51% 58
Grand Total 373 159 43% 373

Law Enforcement Requests for January 1 through June 30, 2016, by Country

Country Requests Received Requests for Which at Least Some Account Information was Disclosed Disclosure Rate Number of Users Affected by Disclosure
Australia 4 4 100% 6
Austria 2 2 100% 2
Belgium 3 2 67% 2
Canada 7 0 0% 0
Finland 1 0 0% 0
France 104 71 68% 89
Germany 91 47 52% 80
Hungary 1 0 0% 0
Italy 80 9 11% 9
Japan 1 1 100% 2
Korea 5 4 80% 4
Lithuania 2 0 0% 0
Macedonia 1 0 0% 0
Malta 1 0 0% 0
Netherlands 1 0 0% 0
New Zealand 3 3 100% 4
Norway 3 0 0% 0
Poland 1 0 0% 0
Portugal 3 0 0% 0
Singapore 1 1 100% 2
Spain 114 24 21% 32
Switzerland 2 0 0% 0
United Kingdom 64 25 39% 29
United States 64 34 53% 46
Grand Total 559 227 41% 307

Emergency User Data Requests for July 1 through December 31, 2016

Country Requests for Which at Least Some Account Information was Disclosed Number of Users Affected by Disclosure
Canada 1 1
Brazil 1 1
United States 3 3

Emergency User Data Requests for January 1 through June 30, 2017

Country Requests for Which at Least Some Account Information was Disclosed Number of Users Affected by Disclosure
Canada 1 1
United States 4 4