Breaking up is hard to do
IT’S SURPRISINGLY DIFFICULT!
Their reply to my request
Airbnb has to verify that the person making the request is, in fact, the individual entitled to do so. We have implemented identification and verification procedures to ensure that we do not edit, delete, or hand over personal information at the request of, or to, an impostor or individual not entitled to make such a request. [Not only do they make foreign policy like a government but they demand security like a government department].
We kindly ask [Surely the correct word is demand?] you to re-send us your request and to attach a photocopy of your proof of identity. [In other words to delete my details I have to provide fresh details that they never asked for when I joined].
Your request and proof of identity can be delivered by email or by mail to: Data Protection Officer, c/o Airbnb Ireland UC, The Watermarque Building, South Lotts Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4, Ireland. [In Ireland, who’d have thought it?].
Once we have been able to verify your identity, we will commence to delete your data, but at this time we cannot commit to a specific timeline for this process to be completed. [They can discriminate against Jews in Judea and Samaria overnight].
What do they call ID?
As proof of identity we are talking about a government identification card, or passport or driving license.[Providing them with information of use to an enemy of Israel should they choose to pass it on].
If you decide to send us a copy of your government identification card, we can assure you that we will only use it to verify your identity and that we will delete it as soon as your application has been completed. [Because we completely trust supporters of BDS to keep their word].
My first thought was to send them my Israeli ID card (teudat zehut) with its almost unidentifiable photograph. That has the advantage of recording my nationality (הלאום) as Jewish but the disadvantage of being written in (mainly) Hebrew and Arabic but not in English nor even Irish Gaelic. I have no time to waste translating it for them and certainly not to pay a lawyer/notary to notarise the translation.
Besides it supplies extra information that I don’t want them to have, not least my Israeli identity number.
A driver’s license will do. Apart from my ID number and the knowledge that I am licensed to drive a vehicle up to 4000 kg when I am wearing glasses or contacts, the photograph is recognisable, one of the best taken of me.
Israeli Passport? I look like Saddam Hussein moments after American soldiers dragged him from his hole in Tikrit.
Is it even legal to hand the information on these documents out?
All three Israeli documents may be counter productive as the Irish clerks may take revenge and who knows how long the five-minute job to delete my details may take?
Should I chicken out and send a copy of my Australian passport? The Irish mostly like Australians. It seems most have relatives living in the world’s smallest continent.
I guess I will have to send them my very own Palestinian Right of Return card issued by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture. They were offering free symbolic ‘Palestinian’ identity cards to anyone who asks!
Airbnb may have a problem translating the Arabic.
The last(?) word
Last thing I remember
I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
“Relax,” said the night man
“We are programmed to receive
You can check-out any time you like
But you can never leave!”
‘Hotel California’, the Eagles, 1977
- Murray Cox: The Australian pricking Airbnb’s global bubble, Jimmy Thomson, Allhomes, 21 January 2017