New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent subpoenas to the home-renting company Airbnb, demanding data on all 15,000 users who have rented out their apartments or homes in that city.

The city insists it isn’t going after the casual renter—it wants to find landlords who may have removed apartments from the rental market altogether and are essentially running hotels off the Airbnb site, a violation of a 2010 law that makes it illegal to rent an apartment for fewer than thirty days. But by collecting information on 15,000 users, Airbnb says Schneiderman is going way too far.

The company has 225,000 users in New York City in total, meaning fewer than seven percent of those users are hosts. “Even the politicians who wrote the original law agree it was never designed to target regular people who occasionally share their homes,” the company told the New York Daily News. “We are concerned that this is an unreasonably broad government demand for user data, and we remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”     

Leave a Reply