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Airbnb Says ‘No’ to Greece’s Calls for Rental Data

Online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb has refused to turn over the personal data of its customers to the Greek Finance Ministry.

“Hosts on Airbnb want to pay their share of tax and we want to help but in respect of their privacy,” Airbnb said in an official statement on Thursday, following reports that it was uncooperative to Greek authorities in providing the personal data of the owners in Greece that use its platform to rent their properties to tourists.

“Personal data are subject to strict rules to protect privacy and we want to work together on a better way forward,” Airbnb said.

According to reports, the Finance Ministry has reached out to the online platform, requesting that the tax number (known as AFM in Greek) of each property owner to be registered on the Airbnb platform.

“Personal data is shared only through a valid legal request pursuant to national and European data privacy laws. Airbnb takes these requests seriously and takes appropriate action in response,” the statement read.

According to Airbnb, its hosts want to pay their fair share of tax and the platform itself wants to help. “To date, Airbnb has entered into agreements to collect and remit hotel and tourist taxes on behalf of hosts with over 310 jurisdictions, remitting more than $300 million in hotel and tourist taxes throughout the world.”

Airbnb also said that it helps grow and diversify tourism in Greece, generates new economic activity, spreads benefits to more families and communities, and supports local residents who share their homes.

The online platform underlined that in 2016, hosts across Greece welcomed over 770,000 guests into their homes, with the typical listing being shared for less than three days a month and the typical host earning $2,800 a year.

“We want to continue being good partners in Greece and by working together, we can help boost economic and social opportunities for regular people, generate new tax revenues and help spread tourism benefits to regular people and their communities,” Airbnb concluded in its statement.

The law containing rules for short-term rentals through online platforms like Airbnb was voted in Greece last year. However, it has not yet to come into effect, due to a series of “details”.

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