New York Subpoenas Airbnb

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New York and Airbnb continue to take shots at each other, despite the fact that the company thought it had put the matter to bed when it won a court case in late September. The state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, today subpoenaed the company for data on each host within the state. According to New York Daily News, the company has to turn the information over today. Business Insider, however, claims that when they ran a story suggesting the same, a spokesperson from Airbnb reached out to them and said that there is no deadline in place. The latter seems to be the case given that Airbnb’s head of global public policy, David Hantman wrote, “This demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything we’ve got,” in a blog post just yesterday.

New York Subpoenas Airbnb

Airbnb feels users aren’t breaking any laws

Airbnb feels that New York is simply targeting bad hosts that don’t comprise the majority of its users. Releasing the records of its users is something that would give the government access to information on who is renting complete apartments would not only dent Airbnb’s revenue but also its reputation. Airbnb was successful in overturning a fine that one of its New York hosts received earlier this year and has begun moving to prevent future issues. The company claims that it is will to add rental taxes employed by traditional hotels if it could continue to operate legally.

New York doesn’t seem content to let Airbnb do business at all, despite the company’s belief that its users are not in violation of any laws.

Airbnb thinks only small number of bad users are targeted

“We believe the Attorney General is only seeking to target an incredibly small number of bad actors who abuse the Airbnb platform … like illegal hotel operators and slumlords,” Hantman writes.  “We are confident we can reach a solution that protects your personal information.”

That confidence, however, may be misplaced. There has been little suggestion by the attorney general that it will drop its fight against Airbnb. In fact, Schneiderman is proving himself to be anything but reasonable and has showed little flexibility. He seems quite pleased with himself and it’s never a good idea to ask a cop, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” They don’t after that question is asked.

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