Airbnb: Global Ban on Indoor Security Cameras

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.11 - 2024 2:40 PM CET

Technology
Photo: Daniel Krason / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Daniel Krason / Shutterstock.com
Airbnb introduces a worldwide ban on indoor security cameras in its listings to protect guest privacy.

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Airbnb has announced a global ban on indoor security cameras at its properties, a decision revealed by the rental giant on Monday.

Hosts are given until April 30 to remove any cameras from areas like hallways and common rooms, where they were previously allowed under certain conditions.

Until this change, Airbnb permitted indoor cameras as long as hosts clearly stated their presence in the property's listing, providing guests with prior knowledge. The company decided to update its policy to an outright prohibition after discussions with "guests, hosts, and privacy experts," signaling a shift towards greater privacy concerns.

While interior cameras are facing a ban, outdoor security devices, including doorbell cameras and noise monitors, are still permissible, provided they are mentioned in the property listing. Airbnb had already established rules against cameras in private areas such as bedrooms.

Violations of this new policy post-April 30 may lead to serious consequences for hosts, including the potential removal of their listing or entire account, as Airbnb intensifies its stance on privacy and security.

Airbnb Security Cameras Divide Hosts and Guests

The topic of security cameras has long been a contentious issue among Airbnb users.

Some hosts argue that cameras play a crucial role in protecting their properties and enforcing rules, like the platform's ban on parties. For instance, Arizona host Zach Narus expressed to Business Insider in 2023 how cameras gave him "peace of mind" and helped keep guests "honest" at his two-bedroom cabin.

Lisa Lewis, who runs a rental near the Gulf of Mexico, relied on camera footage to enforce rules about early check-in and late check-out fees, as well as to prevent unauthorized gatherings and ensure guests were of age.

Some guests have raised privacy concerns, sharing unsettling experiences of feeling surveilled during their stays.

A tweet from 2021 recounted an incident of being watched at a pool late at night, and in 2019, Max Vest reported to The Atlantic his discovery of undisclosed cameras in a Miami Airbnb, which led him to leave the rental abruptly.

"I didn't know if I was being watched live," Vest said.

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