The Real Deal New York

Airbnb crackdown raises specter of privacy violations

November 17, 2013 03:00PM

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From left: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia

WEEKENDEDITION A crackdown on short-term rental sites like Airbnb by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may supply inappropriate data regarding the habits of thousand of vacationers to the government, according to Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington think tank.

Recently, Schneiderman subpoenaed data from Airbnb as part of a probe into the website’s compliance with a 2011 law, which makes it illegal to rent out an apartments for less than 30 days unless the owner or renter is also present in the home, according to the New York Post.

“The demand isn’t just for the small number of users who might be abusing the system but for information revealing the vacation habits of thousands of New Yorkers,” the think tank said in an open letter.

In New York City there are approximately 225,000 Airbnb users. The Attorney General’s office is currently seeking data on roughly 15,000 New Yorkers that it suspects might be “illegal, highly lucrative hotel operators.” [NYP]Christopher Cameron

  • OH BOY

    wow. that’s a stretch! The argument is simple, if you own your apartment you should be able to rent it out legally. If you are renting someone else’s property then you can ask for permission from your landlord to lease your unit. Doesn’t the NY law prohibit less than 30 days?
    What should happen here is a class action lawsuit from landlords against airbnb for providing a platform where tenants can break the law, renting for less than 30 days, without landlord permission.
    simple.

    • Sh!t My Tenants Say

      Great idea. I will gladly sign.

      They have set up a platform to operate in a city where they are fully aware of the laws, but choose to ignore them for their own (and Venture Capitalist partners) profits, while making their “hosts” act as pawns by having them sign a lengthy disclaimer where they assume liability.

      If AirBnB cared about OUR city and the ‘non hosts’ AT ALL, they would be acting very differently, starting with allowing owners of buildings to register them as blacklisted, not to mention DCHRs to prohibit Stabilized apartments

      https://twitter.com/SMTSay

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