Journal of Law and Policy


Alexandra Jonas


Uber and Airbnb are two companies in the emerging “sharing economy” that provide individuals with a means to become entrepreneurs and benefit from a laissez-faire business model. The problem, however, is that while the benefits to users are great, so too are the risks. The dangers of operating without restraint and circumventing existing law are not only potentially harmful to unapprised users, but also adversely affect the continued use of these businesses. Every aggrieved user complaint has the potential for a lawsuit and every violation creates an opportunity for penalties. Left over are attempts by the courts and city government to remedy these issues. Since New Yorkers will continue to utilize these services, the legislature should respond by implementing new and unique regulations with which sharing economy businesses must comply.