I’m a little late to the discussion about AirBnB and security, but I do have a thought. For those of you not involved, the original problem was a blog post about a horrible experience from someone in SF who rented out her house. The response was on the slow side, but not the small side. AirBnB came up with a huge number of new safety features; the headline being a $50,000 guarantee.
The guarantee isn’t the interesting part as far as I’m concerned though. It’s more interesting that they have employed verified portfolios. They are allowing people to rent only to verified users who have given a verified phone number and volunteered to link up their Facebook profile. That is interesting. I have talked before how the internet can begin to secure itself by bringing people’s various ids together, but this is one of the first examples and eCommerce is one of the most important areas.
I think its important as the line between consumer/creator continues to blur. After all, individuals can rent out there house on AirBnB, make crafts on Etsy, rent out their car on Getaround, sell their stuff on eBay and more. In fact, while requiring people link their Facebook account is a good first step, I see a logical extension (and possible startup idea). If many of the online marketplaces (Etsy, eBay, Amazon, etc…) teamed up (likely through an intermediary like Facebook or Google or a new startup) they could create a sort of “eCommerce Score” like a “credit score” for sellers. Of course there would be a ton of privacy concerns and a lot of thought would need to go in to whether that was public or not, what level of detail was exposed, how long the history was based on and more.
Anyone want to start it up?