New York Supreme Court grants Airbnb the right to protect user data

A judge has quashed a controversial subpoena in the ongoing battle between Airbnb and the New York attorney general’s office over whether the five-year-old company is operating illegal hotels (and violating state law). But Airbnb shouldn’t celebrate just yet: The AG’s office says it’s already in the process of filing another subpoena for Airbnb’s records. Last year, Albany demanded that Airbnb hand over information on its hosts, including names, addresses and non-personal information such as how long a guest may have stayed in a host’s apartment. 

Apartment-sharing site Airbnb won a huge court battle Tuesday when the New York Supreme Court quashed a subpoena from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office seeking user’s personal information. ‘The subpoena at issue, as drafted, seeks materials that are irrelevant to the inquiry at hand and accordingly, must be quashed,’ wrote acting state Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly in court papers. The court granted the site’s ‘instant application to quash the subpoena as overbroad’ as well as denying the Attorney General’s motion to force them to give out any information or date about their users, according to the The New York Daily News. Schneiderman’s office sought names, addresses, rates, tax data of Airbnb’s users for the past three years.

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