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Airbnb bans use of indoor security cameras in rental properties

Click to play video: 'As Airbnb bans indoor security cameras, expert warns of need for ‘balance’'
As Airbnb bans indoor security cameras, expert warns of need for ‘balance’
WATCH: As Airbnb bans indoor security cameras, expert warns of need for 'balance' – Mar 12, 2024

This might make Airbnb renters rest easier — on Monday, the company announced a policy change that will globally prohibit hosts from using security cameras inside the properties they’re renting.

The rule, which will be enacted on April 30, comes as an attempt by the San Francisco-based online rental platform to “simplify” its policies and provide a more comprehensive understanding for the use of security cameras.

Prior to the change, Airbnb allowed cameras to be placed in the common areas of properties, such as hallways, living rooms and dining rooms, so long as the presence of the cameras was disclosed to renters. The cameras had to be “clearly visible” and were forbidden in sleeping areas and bathrooms.

The company said the decision to ban indoor security cameras comes as part of an initiative to “prioritize the privacy of our community.”

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Airbnb also provided more regimented rules for the use of outdoor cameras and noise decibel monitors. These devices must now be disclosed to renters before booking. They must also be removed from outdoor areas “where there’s a greater expectation of privacy” such as saunas and enclosed showers.

Click to play video: 'Airbnb banning use of indoor security cameras'
Airbnb banning use of indoor security cameras

Devices like doorbell cameras can still be used by hosts “to monitor security for their home and get ahead of issues like unauthorized parties.”

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

“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,” Downs said in a company statement.

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Airbnb said most of its listed properties on an international level do not report having a security camera.

Regardless, several Airbnb guests have over the years complained that they have discovered hidden cameras while renting.

Last year, a Vancouver resident told Global News she discovered a hidden camera in a bathroom electrical outlet while renting on the Sunshine Coast.

Click to play video: 'Group of women celebrating birthday discover hidden cameras in Airbnb'
Group of women celebrating birthday discover hidden cameras in Airbnb

At the time, Airbnb said, “We ban hidden cameras and previously refunded the guest as we investigate this allegation.”

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