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New York subpoenas Airbnb for data on all local hosts

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airbnb stock
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New York and Airbnb continue to clash over when residents should be able to rent out their apartments. The state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, has now subpoenaed data about all Airbnb hosts within New York, the rental service says. According to New York Daily News, Airbnb must turn over the data by today. But Airbnb says that it's hoping not to have to do that. "This demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything we've got," David Hantman, Airbnb's head of global public policy, writes in a blog post yesterday. Hantman didn't disclose exactly what details Airbnb had been asked to hand over.

Airbnb says New York is just targeting bad hosts

For Airbnb, releasing user records could reveal just how many hosts are violating New York law, which currently prohibits renting out complete apartments. Since around half of New York rentals may fall under that category, Airbnb's data could give the state the fodder it needs to continue a crackdown. After managing to overturn a fine one of its New York hosts received earlier this year, Airbnb has already begun moving to prevent future issues. It says that it's receptive to adding rental taxes that traditional hotels see, so long as its service can operate legally.

Though New York ostensibly wants to continue its broader fight against Airbnb, which has been butting up against a law that targets illegal hotels, Airbnb claims that the state is merely hoping to weed out the few bad hosts who are actively abusing the system. "We believe the Attorney General is only seeking to target an incredibly small number of bad actors who abuse the Airbnb platform ... like illegal hotel operators and slumlords," Hantman writes. Accurate or not, Hantman says that Airbnb will continue its discussions with Schneiderman's office, writing that, "We are confident we can reach a solution that protects your personal information."