Airbnb bans use of indoor security cameras 

Airbnb bans use of indoor security cameras
Airbnb bans use of indoor security cameras. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Short-term rental platform Airbnb on Monday announced it is banning the use of indoor security cameras in listings globally.

The company earlier allowed hosts to keep indoor security cameras in common areas as long as the devices were clearly disclosed on the listing page and placed in visible spots in the home.

The cameras were not permitted in indoor sleeping areas and bathrooms.

The company said in a statement: “Airbnb is banning the use of indoor security cameras in listings globally as part of efforts to simplify our policy on security cameras and other devices and to continue to prioritize the privacy of our community.”

“The update to this policy simplifies our approach and makes clear that security cameras are not allowed inside  listings, regardless of their location, purpose or prior disclosure,” the companies said.

The new changes will come into effect from the end of next month.

Alongside a ban on indoor cameras, the revised policy will also see more comprehensive rules on the use of outdoor security cameras and other devices, including noise decibel monitors.

Devices like doorbell cameras and noise decibel monitors continue to be permitted on Airbnb and can be an effective, privacy-protective way for hosts to monitor security for their home and get ahead of issues like unauthorised parties.

However, hosts will be required to disclose the presence and general location of any outdoor cameras before guests book. These cameras will also be prohibited from monitoring indoor spaces of a listing and are not allowed in certain outdoor areas where there’s a greater expectation of privacy, like an enclosed outdoor shower or sauna.

Hosts are also required to disclose the presence of noise decibel monitors, which assess decibel level only and do not record or transmit sounds or conversations and are only allowed in common spaces of listings.

What will happen if new rules are violated?

The company said reported violations of the policy will be investigated.

It said action taken may include listing or account removal.

Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy and Partnerships, Juniper Downs, said in a statement: “Our goal was 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.”