Airbnb bans indoor security cameras in a major privacy policy update

Airbnb Enhances Privacy: Bans Indoor Cameras

Airbnb has announced a significant update to its security policy, prohibiting the use of indoor security cameras in listings worldwide. This move aims to streamline the platform’s rules regarding security cameras and other surveillance devices, reinforcing the privacy of its community members.

Historically, Airbnb’s policy permitted indoor security cameras in common areas such as hallways and living rooms, provided they were disclosed in the listing’s description, clearly visible, and not located in private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms. The revised policy now unequivocally bans any indoor security cameras, enhancing clarity and privacy standards across all listings.

Juniper Downs, Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy and Partnerships, stated, “Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb.” The policy revisions were developed in consultation with guests, hosts, and privacy experts, emphasizing Airbnb’s commitment to continuously refining its policies based on community feedback.

The updated policy is expected to affect a minor portion of Airbnb listings, as the majority do not feature security cameras. Additionally, the policy introduces stricter guidelines for outdoor surveillance devices and other monitoring tools, including noise decibel monitors.

While devices such as doorbell cameras and noise decibel monitors are still allowed, hosts must now disclose their presence and approximate location prior to booking. These devices are forbidden from covering indoor areas and select private outdoor spaces. Disclosure requirements extend to noise decibel monitors, which measure sound levels without recording or transmitting audio.

The new policy will be enforced starting April 30, allowing hosts sufficient time to adjust. Airbnb will investigate any reported violations, which could lead to listing or account suspension.

This policy change comes after extensive dialogue with the Airbnb community, including guests, hosts, privacy advocates, and expert groups, underlining the company’s dedication to fostering positive experiences and privacy on the platform.

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