Airbnb Bans Hosts From Putting Security Cameras Inside Guest Homes

Airbnb has announced a major update: the ban of indoor security cameras in global listings, responding to privacy concerns.

This update, effective from the end of April, is part of Airbnb’s plan to place a focus on guest privacy. Before, indoor cameras were permitted in common areas if disclosed before booking.

The revised rules now entirely prohibit these cameras, clarifying privacy expectations for guests and hosts.

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

The change is an indication that Airbnb wants to bring more privacy and safety, influenced by feedback from both guests and hosts.

Although the majority of Airbnb listings reportedly do not use indoor security cameras, this policy update aims to ensure a consistent privacy standard across all listings.


What Are the New Rules for Outdoor Cameras?


The updated policy, along with banning indoor cameras, includes setting stricter regulations for outdoor security devices as well.

While outdoor cameras will still be allowed, their use now comes with conditions. Hosts must explicitly inform the guests should there be any cameras anywhere at all on the property, while also informing guests where exactly the cameras are, before a booking is made.

These cameras are banned from monitoring indoor spaces and sensitive outdoor areas like enclosed showers or saunas.



Banning Of Sound Recorders


Airbnb’s new policy also mandates disclosure of noise decibel monitors, which do not record conversations but assess noise levels to prevent unauthorised parties.

This is also for security and privacy reasons, allowing hosts to protect their properties while respecting guest privacy.

The changes, resulting from dialogue with privacy experts and community feedback, aim to create a sense of trust and safety within the Airbnb ecosystem.


How Will This Affect Hosts and Guests?


Airbnb hosts are given until April 30 to align with the new regulations, after which violations can lead to account suspension or listing removal.

This policy change encourages hosts to rethink their security measures, promoting alternatives like doorbell cameras and noise monitors, which comply with the new privacy standards.

Guests have expressed relief and approval. Incidents of undisclosed or hidden cameras have compromised Airbnb’s reputation in the past, leading to guest discomfort and distrust.

The updated policy is a great direction towards rebuilding guest confidence, ensuring that their privacy is prioritised during stays.

On the other hand, some hosts believe cameras are necessary and essential for property protection and guest accountability.

Zach Narus, an Airbnb host, previously stated cameras provided him “peace of mind” and maintained guest honesty. However, the new policy forces hosts to find new strategies to secure their properties without compromising guest privacy.