Airbnb Privacy Update: A Ban On Indoor Security Cameras



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The update is based on guest feedback.

Airbnb on Monday said it would ban the use of indoor security cameras globally.

Indoor cameras have until now been allowed in common areas of homes under certain conditions. They had to be disclosed to guests, visible, and not in private spaces. 

The new policy prohibits all use of indoor cameras, regardless of disclosure. Outdoor security cameras can’t be placed for indoor views of the home. And noise monitors will be permitted with disclosure and restrictions. For example, noise decibel monitors must measure only decibel levels, can’t record conversations, and are only allowed in common spaces of listings. 

“Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb,” said Juniper Downs , Airbnb’s head of community policy and partnerships. “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.”

Airbnb said since the majority of listings do not report having a security camera, so the move will impact a “smaller subset of listings.”

Guests often consider indoor cameras an intrusion into their privacy. For hosts and owners, they were one way to protect their property against big parties and potential damage. 

Hosts must comply by April 30. Those failing to do so will be investigated and it could result in removal of listings or accounts.  

Vrbo and Booking.com ban the use of surveillance cameras indoors and in enclosed outdoor spaces like the pool and sauna. 

Guest Feedback

These changes follow input from guests, hosts, privacy experts, and advocacy groups, Airbnb said. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has previously noted other changes the company is making based on guest feedback.

Chief among these are urging hosts to remove  or reduce cleaning fees, an initiative to verify listings, and to show total price of a stay, except for taxes, up-front.  

Last week, Airbnb said it will soon have nearly 1.5 million verified listings — or 20% of its total active listings. 



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