The Real Deal:
More than two dozen New York Airbnb hosts filed a lawsuit early this morning to block the disclosure of their personal information as stipulated in an agreement between the New York attorney general and the online rental service.
The group of 25 anonymous hosts are fighting to keep their information private following a deal hammered out in May between Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office and Airbnb.
The suit, filed this morning in New York State Supreme Court, is seeking an injunction blocking the turnover of information including names, addresses and social security numbers, Adam Leitman Bailey, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told The Real Deal. He was citing the U.S. Stored Communications Act, which he said precludes Airbnb from turning over the information without a warrant or court order.
The suit also says the disclosure would be a violation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment against illegal searches and seizures, as well as violations of the Fifth and 14th Amendments, the suit claims.
In addition, he added that prevailing law prohibits the turnover.
“Under federal law, you are not allowed to release that information,” Bailey said. “Last month, we followed our normal procedures and notified a small number of hosts that their data had been requested by the New York Attorney General under a subpoena,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We will not take action with data from hosts who have previously filed suit until the court makes a decision and we will respect the court’s decision.”
About a quarter of the hosts are unemployed, and at least one is a single mother, Bailey said. Most of his clients had more than one unit, but Bailey would not disclose how many the largest had.