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Airbnb Complied With Chinese Communist Party Demands For User Data, Prompting Chief Trust Officer To Resign

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Airbnb’s Chief Trust Officer resigned from the vacation rental service due to concerns about the company sharing personal data with the Chinese Communist Party.

Sean Joyce, who was hired in May of 2019 with the goal of protecting users’ safety on the platform, resigned after six months at the job, citing “concerns about how the massive rental platform shares data on millions of its users with Chinese authorities,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Joyce grew alarmed during his tenure that the company wasn’t being fully transparent about the data it shares with the ruling Chinese Communist Party government, including for Americans traveling in the country,” the report continued.

And Joyce thought this trend would only continue:

“He also was concerned about what he viewed as Airbnb’s willingness to consider more expansive data requests from China.”

Data shared with the Chinese government included “phone numbers, email addresses and messages between users and the company.” Additionally, the Chinese Communist Party requested “real-time data,” which would alert them to when someone first books a property.

To Joyce, “such data-sharing would enable Chinese government surveillance and put members of minority ethnic groups such as repressed Muslim-majority Uighurs at risk.”

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Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is an Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and contributor to The National Pulse podcast.