Airbnb Loses Its Fight to Keep Its Records Private From New York City

In this ongoing dispute (See blog entry for April 21) between the City of New York, Airbnb, and Homeaway, the judge in this matter ruled on a discovery dispute on what these companies must turn over to the City.

Specifically, the City seeks an order compelling Airbnb to comply with requests to identify witnesses and documents that address “what information Airbnb gathers, how Airbnb stores host information, who Airbnb discloses host information to, what categories of host information Airbnb discloses to third parties, and the basis on which Airbnb discloses that host information.”

Airbnb believes it only should produce information “concerning the selection and vetting of third parties to whom New York City user data may be disclosed and concerning information security as applicable to Airbnb.”

The judge ruled for the City of New York, finding that the information is fairly sought, and that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in this information. In fact, the judge ruled that the City’s request falls squarely within the third-party doctrine.

The case is Airbnb, Inc. v. City of New York, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48245, 2019 WL 1306107 S.D. N.Y. (March 21, 2019).

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