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New York attorney general, Airbnb reach accord

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 21, 2014 at 12:58 pm •  Published: May 21, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's attorney general and the website Airbnb have reached agreement on information disclosures about short-term New York City apartment rentals in a state investigation of illegal hotels.

Attorneys for both sides confirmed the agreement Wednesday, saying it balances state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's commitment to protect city residents and tourists from illegal hotels with the company's concerns about the privacy of thousands of others who use the website to rent their apartments to visitors.

"We are going to pursue anyone who's running illegal hotels," Schneiderman told The Associated Press. The agreement also protects the privacy of people who are just renting out a room in their apartment and not violating the law, he said.

"We view this as a template for other places in the country where the issue has been raised," Schneiderman said.

It requires the company to provide investigators with information about city apartment listings within 51 days, with renters and properties identified only by assigned numbers. After the attorney general's investigators review that information, Airbnb will provide user names, apartment numbers and tax identification numbers about those suspected of breaking the law requested within the following year.

The subpoena sought information about Airbnb's hosts going back three years, noting many listings appeared to offer unoccupied apartments for very short periods, violating rules against unregulated hotels.

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