Airbnb Moves to Confront Its Regulatory Challenges Head-on

By Cameron Scott 

social networks, social networking, airbnbAirbnb today launched a public policy blog written by its newly hired head of global public policy, suggesting that the company is taking seriously the potential regulatory challenges it faces.

Airbnb hosts, who rent out rooms or their entire apartments for short stays using the service, can inadvertently break local laws governing hotels, as was recently publicized in a report in the New York Times.

“On these pages, we will try to keep you informed about important public policy debates surrounding what we do. We will also ask for your local knowledge, advice, and suggestions as we work together to clarify or improve laws around the world that sometimes make it more difficult for our users to provide great local experiences to travelers,” wrote David Hantman on the blog.

But Hartman, who recently Airbnb from Yahoo, where he was the vice president of global public policy, made no mention of what kind of regulations Airbnb will work to amend, or in what cities.

“We sometimes just won’t be able to comment publicly regarding ongoing regulatory discussions or changing laws, and I am sorry about that. I am hopeful, though, that with this blog and your participation, you will at least know much more about our current work and what we are doing every day to advocate on your behalf,” Hantman wrote.