The former Airbnb trust manager was so concerned about how much user data internet needs shared with China, he resigned his position last year after only six months on the job.
Sean Joyce, Airbnb’s former chief of staff – also a former deputy director of the FBI – reportedly resigned last year due to concerns about how much user data the company shared with China.
Joyce was hired as the company’s first Chief Trust Officer in May 2019 to help protect users’ security on the platform – but he abruptly resigned from his leadership position after just six months on the job “over concerns about how the massive rental platform shares data on millions of its users with Chinese authorities, ”sources told The Wall Street Journal.
“Joyce was alarmed during his tenure that the company was not completely transparent about the data it shares with the ruling Chinese Communist Party government, including for Americans traveling in the country,”
Airbnb, which filed for publication this week and in this filing admitted that “the ability to continue doing business in China is a risk factor for its brand and profitability”, claims that it has always been transparent in terms of information sharing with the Chinese authorities.
However, Joyce felt that most people did not know how much data was being shared, which according to the WSJ included “phone numbers, email addresses and messages between users and the company.”
“We are committed to being transparent with our community and clearly pass on our data policies to all our hosts and guests by showing a clear message to users when on the platform and through several other notifications,” said Nick Papas, an Airbnb spokesman. , the newspaper said.
When Joyce was reached for comment, he told WSJ “he had a” difference in values ”with Airbnb” and declined any further comment.
According to the paper, Chinese officials asked for more data over the summer last year – specifically with requests for “real-time data” that would alert them when someone first booked a property. This alarmed Joyce, who “worried such data sharing would enable Chinese government surveillance and endanger members of minority ethnic groups who oppressed Muslim Uighurs.”
Joyce sounded the alarm with CEO Brian Chesky and co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, who heads Airbnb’s China unit, as Blecharczyk allegedly said, “We are not here to promote American values” – causing Joyce to resign.