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NY Federal Judge Blocks Law Compelling Airbnb to Disclose Info About Users

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Airbnb scored a win last week when a federal judge blocked a law that New York put into place which would have made it mandatory for the gig economy company to give the city its data. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Airbnb scored a win last week when a federal judge blocked a law that New York put into place which would have made it mandatory for the gig economy company to give the city its data. Airbnb is currently challenging the law in court so that the people who use its services to rent or rent out have their privacy protected, Vos Iz Neias News reports.

Even though the case still hasn’t been decided, the ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan could give Airbnb time to rake in a ton of cash. The timing would be good too because it plans to make an initial public offering, and considering that Wall Street will be abuzz that day, maybe it’s fitting for the judge who blocked the law to be in Manhattan.

“The decision today is a huge win for Airbnb and its users, including the thousands of New Yorkers at risk of illegal surveillance who use Airbnb to help make ends meet,” Airbnb said in a statement.

When media attempted to get comments from New York City’s law department, they could not get an immediate response.

New York put the law in place for a number of reasons, one being that housing costs can go up because of Airbnb, which lets people rent out space in their houses and apartments temporarily.

Airbnb would have had to give all kinds of personal information to the city if the law stayed in effect, like names and addresses. The company and others like it would have to report this data every month.

Airbnb’s legal argument mostly revolves around the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, saying that the government can’t search and seize private property in an unreasonable manner. The judge believes the plaintiffs will win this case, according to comments from his ruling.

The Jewish Voice has reported recently about Airbnb’s rules that are allegedly anti-Israel. When Airbnb declared that it would amend its policy regarding home rentals in what they perceive to be the “occupied territories,” it worried some Jews and Israelis that the objective was to economically bankrupt and isolate Jews.

In a November 25th enlightening article entitled, “The New Israel Fund Encouraged the Airbnb Boycott of Israel” running on the Israel National News web site, the article says “along with its stated policy of endorsing a boycott against Israel, non-profit organizations financed by the New Israel Fund (NIF) were integral to influencing Airbnb’s decision to remove listings for homes in “Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank.”

As a report by NGO Watch noted, “This change in policy was a clear result of a coordinated and well-financed campaign targeting the company by NGOs involved in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel.”

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