Airbnb Bans All Indoor Security Cameras; Effective From April 30

Estimated read time 3 min read

  • Airbnb hosts will have to remove all indoor security cameras by April 30.
  • Outdoor cameras pointing inside the property and cameras in outdoor showers and saunas are also prohibited.
  • Only doorbell cameras and decibel monitors are allowed on the property

Airbnb Bans All Indoor Security Cameras; Effective From April 30

On Monday, Airbnb announced that it’ll be blocking all indoor security cameras in all property listings worldwide. It also bans the use of outdoor security cameras if they are pointed towards the house.

For example, if a host has a camera to monitor the pool but also captures the visuals inside the room through a window, it’ll have to be removed.

Security cameras will also be prohibited in certain outdoor areas that are more intimate, including outdoor showers and saunas.

Its current policy allows hosts to install security cameras in common areas such as the living room, hallway, or kitchen for monitoring purposes.

The hosts had to disclose to the guests that they had security cameras prior to booking and the cameras had to be visible (not hidden). And as a general rule, no cameras were allowed in bedrooms or bathrooms. However, all this is set to change.

Although very few properties have security cameras, it’s still a major privacy concern for most. No other reason has been cited for this sudden change.

The homestay company said that they are trying their best to balance the need for security and monitoring for hosts while helping the guests maintain their privacy.

These changes were made in consultation with our guests, hosts, and privacy experts, and we’ll continue to seek feedback to help ensure our policies work for our global community.Juniper Downs, Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy and Partnerships

The updated policy will continue to allow noise monitors in common areas and a doorbell camera for security reasons. But these devices too will have to be mentioned in the property listing.

Also, the decibel monitor should only be used to keep the sound level in check. It cannot record or transmit conversations out of the room.

We don’t have an update on what Airbnb hosts feel about this update but the company feels that devices alone would be enough to ensure that the guests don’t invite anyone not mentioned in the booking or throw unauthorized parties.

Any host found violating the policy after the given deadline will be investigated and if proven guilty, will have their listing or their entire account removed.

Hosts have until April 30 to make the necessary changes. Since only a small percentage of properties have security cameras, the new policy will be easier to implement.

Rising Concerns Of Guests Over Hidden Security Cameras

In the past few years, Airbnb has been infamously known for having hidden cameras around the property. Some guests have reported finding cameras hidden in ordinary objects such as smoke detectors, alarm clocks, outlets, and so on.

The issue is so common that last week the US comedy show Saturday Night Live decided to broadcast a spoof advert of the company and showed a camera hidden in the toilet. The video quickie went viral and received over 1.2 million views on YouTube,

It looks like the company is trying to do some damage control here by restoring people’s faith in their rentals.

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