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Airbnb just made a big decision on cameras inside properties

Airbnb announced on Monday that it is banning the use of indoor security cameras in its listed properties globally.

It said it was making the move as part of efforts to simplify its policy on security cameras and other devices and ” continue to prioritize the privacy of our community.”

The ban on indoor cameras will come into effect on April 30.

Airbnb had always allowed the use of indoor cameras for security purposes, but only in common areas such as hallways and living rooms, and never in sensitive locations such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Additionally, the accommodation listing had to clearly indicate that cameras were in place, and the devices had to be clearly visible.

The company said that as most listings on Airbnb do not report having a security camera, the new policy is likely to affect a small number of listings on its platform.

Cameras inside Airbnb properties have always been a contentious issue, especially because, over the years, there have been multiple reports of guests finding hidden cameras, sometimes in the bedroom or bathroom.

Airbnb said on Monday that outdoor devices like doorbell cameras will continue to be permitted, though hosts will have to disclose the presence and general location of any outdoor cameras before guests book.

To be clear, these outdoor cameras will also be prohibited from capturing video from a property’s indoor spaces. Noise decibel monitors can still be used in the common areas of Airbnb properties, but hosts must disclose their presence. Such monitors are sometimes used for security and to detect parties, which Airbnb banned several years ago. Under no circumstances should any device record or transmit audio from the property.

Hosts who break the new rules could see their listing removed from Airbnb.

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

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Trevor Mogg
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