Judge blocks New York City law demanding Airbnb disclosures

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City was dealt a major legal blow Thursday in its ongoing attempt to crackdown on Airbnb.

A federal judge issued an order barring the city from enacting a law next month requiring home-sharing companies like Airbnb and HomeAway to turn over data about customers who advertise short-term rentals.

Judge Paul Engelmayer blocked the law from taking effect on February 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 in a statement called the ruling a "huge win."

"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," a statement read. "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.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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