The Real Deal New York

Airbnb to appear in New York State Supreme Court Tuesday

Short-term rental provider to formally fight AG's subpoena for user data

April 21, 2014 08:00AM

From left: Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

From left: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb’s Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky

Short-term rental site Airbnb is gearing up for a Tuesday court appearance in Albany, at which point the startup will contest the state attorney general’s subpoena for users’ personal data.

The judge could issue a ruling on the subpoena Tuesday, or take additional time to reach a decision, Airbnb co-founder David Hantman wrote in a blog post on Airbnb’s website yesterday.

“If we are ordered to hand over any data, we will work to ensure you are properly notified before the government receives any information about you or your listing,” Hartman wrote in the open letter to Airbnb hosts.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed data on roughly 15,000 New Yorkers who use the service to host guests back in October, and Airbnb filed papers in New York State Supreme Court to block the subpoena only days later.

Last week, the site released findings saying its users could contribute more than $20 million in taxes should the site be permitted to collect them on behalf of the state — a move requiring a law change that the hotel industry is fighting.

The short-term lodging site also closed on a $500 million funding round last week, and the company’s current valuation is said to be $10 billion. [Gothamist] and [Airbnb]Julie Strickland

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