Skift Take

It's obvious Airbnb wants to exhaust any and all options before complying with New York City's new short-term rental law. Why? Because the city is the company's No. 1 market in the U.S. But the company's argument regarding privacy concerns in New York contradicts Airbnb's willingness and compliance to submit its host information to cities that include San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans. In other words, this is more about avoiding the new law than user privacy concerns.

Airbnb Inc. asked a Manhattan judge to deny New York City’s request for information about listings for seven midtown buildings, saying it sets a “scary precedent” that would allow the city to seek data about thousands of people who share the address of someone posting on the site.

The city sued Airbnb this month, seeking to force it to comply with a subpoena for details about buildings on 47th Street. The petition came days after the City Council voted to require the San Francisco-based company to supply information about its hosts so officials can target those who post illegal listings.

The company said in a court filing Sunday that the request paves the way for the city to issue “sprawling subpoenas” for multiple buildings or large residential buildings having the same address as the Airbnb renter. It also called the city’s request a “a transparent ruse to allow it to file suit against Airbnb as soon as possible to garner press attention.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P. This article was written by Chris Dolmetsch from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Tags: privacy, short-term rentals

Photo credit: Airbnb says New York City's subpoena for information about its New York City Airbnb hosts sets a "scary precedent" for user privacy. Bloomberg