Airbnb responds to upcoming EU Digital Services Act

EU: Airbnb has submitted its response to the European Commission’s proposed Digital Services Act, detailing the type of framework it would support.

The Commission has just closed public consultations on the act, which will regulate digital competition and codify the legal responsibilities of these services.

Airbnb’s statement emphasises three key areas of the possible law:

  • Safety and Trust: Airbnb values the importance of online safety, in order to protect its guests. It emphasised its own measures to support these values, including limiting bookings by u-25s, event bans, and the enhanced cleaning protocol.
  • Greater Consistency: Highlighting the possibility of the law to create a European digital framework, Airbnb welcomed the added clarity. It noted that additional opportunities for government collaboration could add to Airbnb’s profile.
  • Data Transparency: Airbnb has requested additional clarity on what the data-sharing clauses of this new law may imply. Airbnb currently has signed many data-sharing agreements with governments and complies with GDPR regulations but wants to understand how governments can access data while respecting privacy laws.

Patrick Robinson, Airbnb director of public policy EMEA, said: “This consultation is an exciting and important next step in the direction for a Digital Services Act to reflect the new digital age. In parallel, we also support similar progress in other areas of policy, including offline regulations, to take into account the different ways platforms do business. We are committed to continuing our direct engagement with hundreds of local, regional and national governments to make sure that our platform works for the benefit of everyone.”

Last year, Airbnb won a significant European court victory, which named the company a digital platform rather than a property agent. In the aftermath, it backed the creation of an EU-wide digital regulator, in order to unify many of the agreements it had signed with other governments.

Their statement emphasised the importance of cooperation in the rebuilding of tourism, which has changed due to the pandemic.