Airbnb continues to have a hidden camera problem. After a story in The Atlantic highlighted the issue that has affected renters who choose to stay in Airbnb properties, another report of a hidden camera popped up in Garden Grove, California. According to the local ABC affiliate, a couple staying at an Airbnb residence discovered a hidden camera in their room.
Christian Aranda and Alondra Salas told ABC7 they were looking for a quiet place to stay and spend some quality time together. The couple settled on an Airbnb that was listed by the owner as “cozy and romantic.” While the couple expected they would be able to spend some private time together, that idea was quickly ruined when they discovered a camera hiding in the room’s smoke detector. It was placed directly above the bed.
The couple opted to stay the night in the room despite discovering the camera and later reported it to law enforcement. The Garden Grove police confirmed that there was a camera installed in the smoke detector, though it apparently wasn’t recording. While the police say no crime was committed in the incident, it’s surely unsettling for any visitor to have a camera pointed directly at them while they sleep. The homeowner hasn’t commented on the situation
In a statement to ABC7, Airbnb said: “The safety and privacy of our community – both online and offline — is our priority. Airbnb’s policies prohibit hidden cameras in listings, and we take reports of any violations very seriously. We promptly removed this host from our platform and completely refunded Ms. Salas based on the information reported. There have been more than 500 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are incredibly rare.”
Incidents involving cameras in Airbnb listings seem to be growing increasingly common. There have been a number of publicized cases of hidden cameras in rentals, including a Toronto couple who found a camera hidden in an alarm clock pointed at the bed and Airbnb has faced legal action over the issue. If you’re staying at an Airbnb, you may want to search for any undisclosed cameras in the property that may be watching you.