NYC law demanding Airbnb disclosures may be unconstitutional: judge

NEW YORK — A federal judge says a New York City law forcing Airbnb and HomeAway home-sharing platforms to reveal detailed information about its business seems unconstitutional.

Judge Paul Engelmayer on Thursday blocked the law from taking effect on Feb. 2, finding there's a greater than 50 percent chance the companies would prevail on claims that the law violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The ruling comes at an early stage of the litigation. Lawyers for the city and the companies will gather additional evidence before Engelmayer makes a final ruling.

The city did not immediately comment.

The San Francisco-based Airbnb issued a statement after the ruling: “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. The court today recognized the fundamental importance of New Yorkers’ constitutional rights to privacy and the sanctity of their own homes.”

The law was passed last summer.

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