The popular house rental company Airbnb has a scary problem on their hands: People keep finding hidden cameras in their rental homes.
Last month, another host was busted trying to film guests without their knowledge — marking the second time since October that the company has had to publicly deal with this sort of incident.
In “oh, that’s a thing now” news, a colleague of mine thought it odd that there was a single “motion detector” in his Airbnbin the bedroom and voila, it’s an IP camera connected to the web. (He left at 3am, reported, host is suspended, colleague got refund.) pic.twitter.com/6KgkDmEZXB
— Jason Scott (@textfiles) November 28, 2017
Officials were forced to ban account users in the past for deploying secret cams around their houses, including residents in Florida and California.
An unidentified American archivist became the most recent victim with his co-worker, Jason Scott, tweeting out a picture on Nov. 27 of a hidden device that he found while staying in an undisclosed Airbnb.
“In ‘oh, that’s a thing now’ news, a colleague of mine thought it odd that there was a single ‘motion detector’ in his Airbnb in the bedroom and voila, it’s an IP camera connected to the web,” Scott tweeted. “(He left at 3 am, reported it immediately and the host is suspended, the colleague got refund.)” His post has racked up more than 23,000 retweets and been liked over 30,000 times.
Airbnb released a statement saying they had “permanently banned” the homeowner and “supported our guests with a full refund and reimbursement for expenses incurred.”
Despite prior reports, a spokesperson said that finding cameras in rental homes was “incredibly rare.”
“Cameras are never allowed in bathrooms or bedrooms; any other cameras must be properly disclosed to guests ahead of time,” the spokesperson said.
A couple from Indiana in October found a hidden camera in the master bedroom of the Florida Airbnb they were staying in. It was disguised as a smoke detector.
A German woman sued the company for negligence after she discovered a secret camera inside a California residence.
“I would love to see Airbnb take this seriously, but not if it means bringing that stress back into our lives,” said one renter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The other renter, a woman named Erin, said her host chose to report her for damages after she unplugged a device she found inside a Houston Airbnb.
“They just treated it like I was trying to get out of paying,” she said in reference to the company’s handling of the situation. “I was like, ‘Hello, he is saying he did what I was saying he did,’ and the customer service rep told me that I should ‘respond professionally.’”
After complaining on Twitter, Erin said Airbnb finally started cooperating and eventually launched an internal review of the incident, which resulted in a full refund.
“It was really scary because this dude knows where I live, my full name, my cell number,” Erin explained. “But at the same time I know his full name and number, too, so I figured that kind of protects me.”
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