The state Attorney General's office announced today that Airbnb has agreed to hand over records regarding their 15,000 hosts in New York State. The AG's office initially subpoenaed those records last October, but the company appealed on the grounds that it needed to protect the anonymity of its registered hosts.
According to a joint agreement between both the company and the AG's office, Airbnb has a month to provide a data set with its hosts' names, contact information, social security numbers, passwords and other private and/or identifying information redacted. With that information in hand, Schneiderman will be able to identify which hosts are breaking the state's Multiple Dwelling Law prohibiting renters from subletting apartments for less than a month—Airbnb will be required to provide complete information regarding those hosts within a 12-month period, opening them up to further investigation.
From the joint statement from the AG's office and Airbnb:
Airbnb and the Office of the Attorney General have worked tirelessly over the past six months to come to an agreement that appropriately balances Attorney General Schneiderman’s commitment to protecting New York’s residents and tourists from illegal hotels with Airbnb’s concerns about the privacy of thousands of other hosts. The arrangement we have reached today for compliance with the OAG subpoena strikes this balance.
Earlier this month, a State Supreme Court judge rejected the AG's subpoena, ruling that it was too broad. But the judge did not dispute that "a substantial number of hosts" were violating state law, giving Schneiderman leeway to reissue the subpoena, which he promptly did. According to a statement on Airbnb's website, the company "wanted to do everything we could to avoid turning over data on thousands of regular New Yorkers," and believes the agreement reached with the AG's office will protect "as much of our hosts’ personal data as possible."
You can read through the entire agreement below: