Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Retail & Industry
AI Assisted Icon
Published on March 13, 2024
Airbnb Bans Indoor Cameras to Boost Privacy, Unveils Stricter Rules for Outdoor SurveillanceSource: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

As privacy concerns increase, Airbnb has decided to ban indoor security cameras across all of its listings worldwide. The company is switching gears to prioritize privacy, eliminating the grey area in its policy that previously allowed cameras in common areas. Juniper Downs, Airbnb's Head of Community Policy and Partnerships, said in a statement: "Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb."

The revised policy, set to take effect on April 30, flows from extensive talks with guests, Hosts, and privacy experts. Indoor cameras, regardless of location or prior disclosure, will no longer be part of any Airbnb accommodation. "These changes were made in consultation with our guests, Hosts and privacy experts, and we’ll continue to seek feedback to help ensure our policies work for our global community," Juniper Downs told Airbnb News. While the majority of Airbnb's listings reportedly didn't have security cameras to start with, the updates will still affect a segment of the platform's users.

In line with this policy refreshment, outdoor camera use will also come under stricter regulations. Hosts need to disclose any outdoor cameras and their general locations before a guest books a stay. Airbnb affirmed that devices like doorbell cameras and noise decibel monitors are still acceptable, but they mustn't monitor indoor living spaces and should be declared prior to booking. These devices are also banned from areas where privacy is highly expected, such as enclosed outdoor showers or saunas.

Hosts have more than a month to adjust to the new policy. Accommodations not in compliance risk listing or account removal after the April 30 deadline. "Community and expert input are an integral part of ensuring our policies help our community have positive experiences on Airbnb," a statement obtained by Airbnb News indicated. With these changes, Airbnb continues to mold its platform's policies in response to the evolving expectations of their global user base.