CBS Local — Another Airbnb customer has reportedly found a hidden camera set up inside a household object while staying in a rental home. The latest allegations against an Airbnb host is sparking fierce debate about whether the company can assure their customers of total privacy during their stay.
A tweet, sent by Jason Scott on Nov. 27, went viral after the historian and film maker shared a picture from his friend’s Airbnb. The picture alleges that a hidden camera was embedded in a motion detector hanging in the home’s bedroom.
Scott tweeted that his colleague left the rental property in the middle of the night and reported the discovery. The location of the home and identity of the host has not been made public. Scott’s tweet has already be retweeted over 23,000 times.
Airbnb called the discovery “incredibly rare,” adding that the customer was given a refund and the host would not be allowed to rent their home using their company again.
“Cameras are never allowed in bathrooms or bedrooms; any other cameras must be properly disclosed to guests ahead of time,” Airbnb spokesman Jeff Henry told BuzzFeed News.
The tweet is the latest report of an Airbnb customer finding out that their privacy had been violated by a voyeur camera. In October, a couple from Indiana found found a hidden camera hanging over the bed in their Florida Airbnb rental. Condo owner Wayne Natt was arrested on “video voyeurism” charges as police believe Natt may have recorded hundreds of people within his property.
While Airbnb continues to ban hosts that are caught violating their customers’ privacy, the rental company reportedly has little control over what their clients don’t disclose about their property. A technician with British surveillance-detection company Advanced Sweeping says customers can take their security into their own hands.
“You have to be vigilant to the likelihood of possibility,” Keith Roberts told The Independent. “With cameras you should look for tiny holes, which is where the lens will be… they’d likely put a camera in the dressing down areas like the bathroom, shower room and bedroom.”
Roberts adds that customers should also go over the property with a flash light, check mirrors for two-way glass, invest in a digital device detector, and scan the area for camera feeds using the home’s WiFi.