Anon No More

Airbnb Is Gonna Need to See Some ID, Ma’am

"We don’t stand for anonymous experiences."
Not so fast, buster.

Not so fast, buster.

Got big plans to save money on your summertime Hamptons excusions by renting someone’s designer couch via Airbnb? Well, get ready to hand over your driver’s license.

AllThingsD reports that starting today, 25 percent of users will have to submit to the company’s new “Verified Identification” process, or you will not be booking any more futons. Hosts can now restrict their rentals to verified users, incentivizing signups.

According to AllThingsD:

“We are drawing a line here and saying we don’t stand for anonymous experiences,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in an interview last week at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. “We don’t think you can be trusted in a place where you’re anonymous.”

The process sounds pretty arduous, actually. It will:

“require users to show that they are a real established online person (through a history of participation and an active existing network on Linkedin or Facebook, or three positive reviews from previous Airbnb stays) and a real established offline person (by scanning their photo ID with the Airbnb mobile app or providing personal details as they would with a credit check).”

Surely this will assuage the fears of skittish people with nice houses–the demographic presumably most valuable to Airbnb. Must be really frustrating if you’re on the lam and looking for a cheap place to crash, no questions asked, though.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com