Barcelona: an offer Airbnb couldn’t refuse

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Airbnb shares its data, personal details and addresses of landlords included with Barcelona. Somehow Amsterdam is left out in this process. much to alderman of Amsterdam Laurens Ivens’s discontent. He does not understand the discrepancy of information sharing and wants the company to share that data with Amsterdam too. To “be able to deal with illegal rentals” more efficiently.

Preliminary measures

At the end of the year the current agreements between the city and Airbnb expire. That is why Ivens wants to set the tone for the next meeting when he meets with the company again. He wants Airbnb, as they did with Barcelona, to share more data with the municipality. But until now they have had, for obvious reasons, a very conservative approach in regards to the sharing of information. Sharing the data would be contrary to European privacy rules.


Airbnb is remarkably open in its approach towards the municipality of Barcelona. That city has been given names, addresses and a copy of the proofs of identity since September. Airbnb also allows Barcelona to view users in the systems as well as the systems for other data of the landlords.

How they’ve done it? “I have no idea,” says Ivens. ‘But compliments to them for being able to do so.’


According to the tourism alderman of Barcelona, Sergi Mari Pons, Airbnb was eventually persuaded to comply because the company’s image in that city has suffered significantly under bad publicity.”That would mean a worldwide problem for Airbnb, since Barcelona is a destination for tourists from all over the world, just like Amsterdam.”

Airbnb does not want to comment on whether they are violating the European rules. They only report that ‘every city is different.’

Desperate measures: It’s on

In the Netherlands, measures against illegal leasing are also on the agenda in The Hague. Minister of Internal affairs Kajsa Ollongren already announced a registration system for holiday rentals, but when it should come into play and how it will be executed is still unclear.

Alderman Ivens does not want to wait for that and hopes to make new deals with Airbnb in two weeks, among other things about sharing data. According to him, that is also in the interests of the company itself. ‘That way they can show they are in no sense a shady company.’




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