What to Know
- A federal judge has blocked a New York City law requiring Airbnb to hand over “voluminous” data on a monthly basis about its users
- The New York City law, which was passed unanimously in July 2018, was scheduled to take effect Feb. 2
- The law called for Airbnb, similar services to turn over info about its users, including names, addresses, where they stayed & for how long
A federal judge has blocked a New York City law requiring Airbnb to hand over “voluminous” data on a monthly basis about people who use its apartment listing services from going into effect.
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer handed down the preliminary ruling in Manhattan Thursday.
This case arises out of the city’s efforts to regulate home-sharing platforms and peer-to-peer apartment rentals. Engelmayer blocked the law while the company challenges it in court.
The New York City law, which was passed unanimously in July 2018, was scheduled to take effect Feb. 2. The law called for Airbnb and providers of similar services to turn over information about its users, including names, addresses, where they stayed and the longevity of their stay, each month.
Airbnb is a an online marketplace where users can access services to arrange and offer short- and long-term lodging, including homestays where hosts lease or sublease their living space to guests.
The San Francisco-headquartered company argued that the law violated the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendment dealing with protection against unreasonable search, seizure and interceptions of private property by the government, and conflicts with the Stored Communications Act.
Engelmayer said in Thursday’s ruling that the company was likely to prevail in the case under their Fourth Amendment challenge.
In a statement, Airbnb called the judge’s ruling “a huge win for Airbnb and its users, including the thousands of New Yorkers at risk of illegal surveillance who use Airbnb to help make ends meet.
“The court today recognized the fundamental importance of New Yorkers’ constitutional rights to privacy and the sanctity of their own homes,” the statement continued.
During a Thursday press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the city's law as "a good law" and that it would stop landlords from creating defacto hotels which he said were "unfair and illegal" and "creates real security problems from neighbors."
De Blasio said he believes the city will "ultimately prevail."