Home

Airbnb Calls NYC Law Seeking Host Information ‘Murky’

By Rachel George

Share

Earlier this year, Airbnb filed a lawsuit against New York City over a new law requiring the site to share information about its hosts.

 

An Airbnb lawyer said the law was too vague to stand since it does not contain any data protection policy or guidelines on whether the information can be shared among other city agencies. Airbnb’s attorney Roberta Kaplan shared this information at a hearing with U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer last Friday.

 

“The very murkiness of the regulatory regime here should give the court concern,” Kaplan said.

 

The City Council voted in favor of preventing people from renting their apartments to tourists. The city believes it raises rents, disrupts neighborhoods, and increases gentrification.

 

The law states that Airbnb and similar sites must share the names and addresses of renters with the city along with their rental type (room, apartment, etc). This would help the city enforce a law that makes it illegal for most landlords to rent an apartment for fewer than 30 days. Airbnb believes says the disclosure law violates their hosts’ privacy rights.

 

Allegedly, Airbnb has been refusing to cooperate and has fought every subpoena issued by the city. According to Karen Beth Selvin, an attorney for the city,  New York City doesn’t want to bring thousands of cases into courts against Airbnb over its data and that the law gives regulators discretion in determining whether a violation has been committed.

 

Carlina Rivera, a former housing advocate, and councilwoman, who introduced the bill said, “This is about preserving as much affordable housing and housing stock as possible.” Others beg to differ.

 

Airbnb’s head of global policy Chris Lehane says the policy will subject hosts to over-policing and violates their privacy rights. He also believes this law works in favor of hotel owners over residents. “This is a bill that really is designed to benefit the hotel industry,” he says.

Share
Travel Noire

Rachel George

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Delta Offers Free Flights To Medical Workers Traveling To Areas Hardest Hit By Coronavirus

Delta Offers Free Flights To Medical Workers Traveling To Areas Hardest Hit By Coronavirus

It goes without saying that members of our medical community are the true heroes when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak that continues to spread across the world. In an effort to support their tireless work, Delta Airlines is offering medical professionals free flights to “critical areas” in the United States impacted by the novel […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

How Kiana Calder Is Creating A Safe Space For Black Artists To Showcase Their Work

How Kiana Calder Is Creating A Safe Space For Black Artists To Showcase Their Work

In 2018,  Kiana Calder decided to end Black History Month by celebrating art. But not just any art, she held an event titled the Unapologetic Art Expo to celebrate and honor black artists in the New York City community. Kiana was inspired to showcase black artists after noticing a lack of diversity at The Armory Show […]

Parker Diakite

Four Seasons Hotel Offers Free Rooms To New York Medical Workers Who Worry About Infecting Families

Four Seasons Hotel Offers Free Rooms To New York Medical Workers Who Worry About Infecting Families

Every day, essential workers sacrifice their health to provide services for those who are in need. That is especially true for medical workers in New York, where the coronavirus has taken a major toll on the community. For those medical workers, they are not only concerned about contracting the virus themselves but are especially worried […]

Stephanie Ogbogu