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Airbnb agrees to comply with NY subpoena for user data

Airbnb said Wednesday it will comply with a subpoena from the New York attorney general's office to turn over user data. However, the start-up initially will not disclose individuals' names or addresses.

The peer-to-peer home rental service also agreed to clarify on its website that New York City laws usually prohibit rentals if the host is not present.

And the attorney general's office will still be able to request specific names of hosts if the anonymous list indicates individual instances of illegal rentals.

"We believe that this is a strong agreement that best protects our community's data and sets us on a positive path forward." Airbnb said in a statement.

"The Attorney General's Office will have one year to review the anonymized data and receive information from us about individual hosts who may be subject to further investigation," Airbnb said. "We believe the Attorney General's Office is focused on large corporate property managers and hosts who take apartments off the market and disrupt communities. We have already removed more than 2,000 listings in New York and believe that many of the hosts the Attorney General is concerned about are no longer a part of Airbnb."

The Airbnb logo and website are displayed on laptop computers in this arranged photograph.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Airbnb logo and website are displayed on laptop computers in this arranged photograph.

The agreement comes after a New York state judge last week said the original subpoena was too broad, and the attorney general's office refiled with narrower demands.

Read MoreAirbnb looks beyond flat-sharing to tickets and travel

The office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday confirmed that the Airbnb terms comply with the revised subpoena.

"We are going to pursue anyone who's running illegal hotels," Schneiderman told The Associated Press. "We view this as a template for other places in the country where the issue has been raised."

The company has been seen as a major disruptor of the hotel industry, and its valuation has been estimated in the $10 billion range.

Airbnb previously said it is willing to start collecting hotel-type taxes on behalf of its hosts. That's if New York state law is modified to let it do the collection, rather than require individual users handle the taxes. The total tax on a typical New York City hotel room is 14.75 percent plus $3.50 per room per night, according to NYC & Company, the city's official tourism group.

On Wednesday, Airbnb said it still hopes to change New York laws. "We are pleased that we reached this agreement, but we know there is so much yet to be done. For instance, the law that made this investigation possible is still on the books, and we need to change that law to allow anyone in New York who wants to rent out their own home to do so," the company said.

Read MoreBusiness, luxury travelers turning to Airbnb-type options

—CNBC's Amy Langfield.

Follow Road Warrior on Twitter at @CNBCtravel.

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