Airbnb Is Bringing an End to Indoor Security Cameras

The company's new policy will also affect noise monitors

A camera in a bookshelf. Airbnb is updating its policy on indoor security cameras like this.
Airbnb is updating its policy on indoor security cameras.
Getty Images

There are plenty of valid reasons to stay at an Airbnb, but there are also a few reasons for concern that might not crop up elsewhere. Concerns over hosts using surveillance cameras to spy on their guests have cropped up in the news in recent years, to the point where a recent SNL sketch addressed the matter. It’s eminently understandable — the idea of someone watching you when you think you have privacy ranges from annoying to chilling. Which might explain why Airbnb recently announced it’s bringing an end to indoor cameras, full stop.

In an announcement on Monday, Airbnb declared it was “banning the use of indoor security cameras in listings globally.” This update follows a previous policy that allowed security cameras in common areas but excluded them from spaces like bathrooms. The policy is set to go into effect on April 30 of this year.

Indoor cameras aren’t the only technology that this updated policy addresses. Airbnb will also require hosts to provide guests with information on both outdoor cameras and noise monitors. The latter, the policy clarifies, will “not record or transmit sounds or conversations.”

“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,” said Juniper Downs, the company’s Head of Community Policy and Partnerships, in a statement.

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Concerns about hidden cameras in spaces like Airbnbs and hotel rooms have been a growing presence in recent years, as this CNBC report demonstrates. Airbnb’s policy should bring some peace of mind to travelers concerned about being monitored illicitly — at least after April 30 has come and gone.


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