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What to Know About Airbnb’s New Camera Policy

Have you ever felt like you’re being watched in a vacation rental? It might not have been your imagination. Until recently, Airbnb has allowed vacation rental owners to install security cameras in common areas, such as hallways or living areas, as long as they disclose the cameras in their listings. 

Close up of small camera. Smart home
jnsepeliova | Adobe Stock

In a move aimed at protecting guest privacy and boosting consumer trust, Airbnb announced on March 11 a sweeping new policy that bans cameras inside all rental properties listed on its platform, effective April 30. The new rules significantly tighten the company’s previous camera policies. “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,” Airbnb said in a statement.

Under the new, stricter policy guidelines, cameras inside rental properties, including in hallways, living areas, kitchens, and common areas, will be prohibited. Cameras and noise decibel monitors mounted outside the house are still permitted. However, Airbnb is mandating that hosts clearly disclose the presence and location of any exterior cameras before a guest makes a booking. Exterior cameras will not be allowed to be positioned in a way that they can monitor indoor spaces and are banned from outdoor areas where guests can reasonably expect privacy, such as in an outdoor shower or sauna. 

Any listings that do not comply with this new policy once it takes effect on April 30 can be reported to the platform. Airbnb will investigate reported violations and may deactivate listings or remove accounts from its site. 

Although travelers are celebrating the new rule, which offers more privacy to guests, some Airbnb hosts are upset with the move, citing concerns over security and property damage. 

“Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb,” said Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy and Partnerships, Juniper Downs.

Concerned there might be undisclosed cameras in your vacation rental? Read our guide to finding hidden cameras while traveling

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