NY's Attorney General Demands All Data On NYC AirBNB Rentals
from the chilling-effects dept
What is it with states attorneys general and their attacks on innovation? The latest news is that NY’s AG, Eric Schneiderman, is demanding data from AirBnB on all 15,000 users in NYC who have rented out their place. This comes after a ruling back in May saying that an apartment owner renting out his place was guilty of running an illegal hotel (that was just overturned). Of course, the very day that original ruling happened, I’d been trying to rent a place in NYC on AirBnB — and I even had a guy who had agreed to rent me the place pull back, saying that because of the legal issues he was removing his apartment from the site. I’m about to go to NYC again, and have another AirBnB place lined up — but am now nervous that this one, too, will disappear.
The NY AG’s office claims that they’re only going after a small number of “bad” AirBnB users, mainly “landlords doing long-term illegal rentals,” but if that’s the case, why does it need information on 15,000 users. If anything, that’s going to create massive chilling effects. Services like AirBnB provide tremendous amount of value on both sides of the equation — homeowners are able to make extra cash (sometimes significant amounts) while travelers are able to rent out nice places at lower rates than hotels. It’s a good deal that’s pretty efficient across the board. The NY AG’s office claims that this leaves out neighbors who may be impacted, but it seems like there are much better ways to deal with neighbor problems than having to go trolling through all of AirBnB’s records.