This might make you think twice before booking your next ‘room share’ stay. A couple on Reddit claims to have discovered a hidden camera pointed at their bed during their stay at an Airbnb rental.
User zedmin posted the above photo, saying:
“We found a hidden camera pointing at the bed in our new year’s airbnb rental…”
The camera doesn’t look that ‘hidden’ in the photo, but the user later clarified that the camera was repositioned for the photo after they unplugged it. It was originally “tucked inside the bottom of the box, pointing out of a hole in the mesh.”
Betabeat notes that despite the über-creep factor, there’s really nothing they can do legally against the homeowner. Since Airbnb isn’t technically a ‘hotel’, they don’t have to abide by hotel guests’ reasonable expectation of privacy standards.
In many states, if a homeowner takes payment from guests, their home ceases to be considered a private residence under the eyes of the law. This is what protects tenants from having their actions recorded by landlords. But for that to apply to Airbnb hosts, they would have to admit that hosts are running commercial enterprises — or at very least, short-term leases — which would ruin their multi-million dollar campaign to insist that’s not the case.
In an attempt to circumvent these types of situations, Airbnb does have a small disclaimer about cameras in residences:
“Always be mindful of your guests’ privacy. Fully disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment at or around your listing. Make sure you are aware of and comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws.”
And that’s it.
Whether you’re house-sharing or ride-sharing, always be mindful of your environment.