Airbnb Stands Up For Hosts' Data Against New York Attorney General: Updated

David Hantman, the firm's public policy head, calls the Attorney General's request for hosts' data a "government-sponsored fishing expedition."

Update: A petition to update the "poorly written" law has garnered over 19,000 signatures--and is just a couple of hundred people away from its goal. "As a New Yorker just trying to pay my bills, I don’t understand why they think I’m a slumlord," says the person behind the petition, Williamsburg host Mishelle. "Let’s remove any confusion. I've created a petition to fix the law once and for all."

Airbnb is resisting pressure from New York's Attorney General as he attempts to crack down on illegal hotels in the state. The biggest name of the sharing economy is fighting back in the courts and has filed a motion with the New York Supreme Court. "The Attorney General required us to provide data or respond in court today, and we are committed to standing up for our community," public policy head David Hantman wrote. "That may be a tough fight, but it is one worth fighting."

Last week, the crib-sharing site was asked to hand over user data about its New York hosts--that's around 15,000 people. The issue, says the firm, is that the subpoena issued by Eric Schneiderman, New York's Attorney General, goes way beyond asking for the data of whatever "bad actors" there may be within the state's Airbnb community, but that it demands information about thousands of regular hosts in New York. Hantman refers to it as a "government-sponsored fishing expedition."

The firm already won an appeal after an earlier decision by a New York judge found that an Airbnb stay was illegal in the state.

[Image: Flickr user BKLYN Guy]

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