Disappointed with airbnb's new no indoor camera policy

Would love to see the contents of that email

I would imagine that survey (which seems to say that 25% of all airbnbs have invested in secret cameras lol) has a reference? I did not see a source for that in the article - and I imagine there was never one…


wow, word salad, almost as bad as 'rump…

It says that one in four found a camera, but doesn’t specify the camera was hidden. It also says that most of the cameras were outside.


Just because guests claim in a survey that there were “hidden cameras” doesn’t mean there were. I’ve read several accounts where guests claimed this, and it turned out it was a smoke alarm, a sprinkler head for the building’s fire safety system, or something else innocuous.

I remember one host who had his listing suspended due to a “hidden camera” complaint. The CS rep forwarded him a photo the guest had submitted, with the supposed camera circled in red pen, asking, “what is this?”.
It was the shower head in the outdoor patio shower, which would be obvious to anyone with half a brain.

What I’d like to see is stats on how many reports of hidden cameras turn out to be false.

@Hosterer I live in a Mexican tourist town where there are lots of break-ins in certain areas of town. The thieves don’t need to read where the cameras are located- they just visually stake the places out ahead of time, and disable the cameras.


The guests in that survey did not claim they found hidden cameras.

If we look carefully at the summary from the researchers (below) it says a quarter of guests report they “…found a camera” at a rental. When the researchers are talking about hidden cameras, they make that distinction: “58% … are worried about hidden cameras…

A closer look at the reported details of the survey shows that, of the 25% that claimed to have “found a camera,” only 5% report they “found a camera inside the property.” The researchers never say that guests claim they found hidden cameras – only that they found cameras.

Keep in mind that this is a report from Fox News, where dishonesty, distortion, and false fear-based narratives are the dominant genes in their DNA and the foundation of their business model, and where carefully-crafted DRAMATIC headlines are not substantiated by the details of the story.

Still – the bullshit from Fox does make its way into the public perceptions (at least in the United States + ), and so Airbnb has to react to that panic, even if the panic is based on nonsense.

That said – panic or not – it is a good thing for a hospitality company to re-assure its guests and potential guests that they are not being spied upon in their private living space.

+ Fox is only on basic cable in the USA. Elsewhere in the world (even next-door Canada) it is either a poorly-subscribed premium channel or not carried at all, and has very little direct connection with the TV viewing public.



I wasn’t saying that the data was right, but media-generated outrage over cameras in rentals (and hotels) is bad publicity for AirBnB (and Vrbo, etc). So it appears that AirBnB has decided to do something about it.


Yes, I didn’t miss the fact that this survey didn’t say one in four found “hidden” cameras.

That’s why I said “a” survey- I was speaking in general terms. There are lots of surveys whose headlines are totally misleading if one doesn’t drill down into the actual facts, note the wording of the questions asked to the participants, and take into account other factors (like did the guests actually read all the listing info that may very well have disclosed the cameras; were their claims of cameras actually found to be factual, etc.)

Airbnb stopped showing profile photos of guests after they did a survey that said guests of color were declined 3% more often than white guests. But that survey was devoid of context- how many of those declined were declined for reasons having nothing to do with their race? Maybe they sent up red flags re intentions to have a party, or communicated poorly, or wanted to bring pets or children to listings that don’t allow that- there are all kinds of reasons guests get declined. It isn’t scientific to just assume they got declined because they weren’t white.

And I have never seen Airbnb come out with any follow-up survey to prove that hiding profile photos until after booking confirmation actually resulted in a reduction in discrimination. Do POC now get declined on par with white guests? If it did result in leveling the playing field, great. If it didn’t, it was pointless.

Scary stuff and I understand that just throwing some cameras on the walls will make your house safe. But for the sake of having a minimum of a deterrent effect, I’d prefer not to have my camera locations publicly posted online…


As I have pointed out in another thread, that is not what the research actually says. However – if you look carefully at how the research is presented (below), the layout of the presentation encourages (I would even say manipulates) the reader to conflate “hidden cameras” and “cameras” – in the survey results.

  • The top result focuses on fears of “hidden cameras” It doesn’t say people found hidden cameras, just that they were “afraid” of them.

  • The bottom result says nothing about “hidden cameras.” It reports on whether guests claimed they found “cameras” The word hidden does not appear anywhere in that section. In very small print, it becomes clear that only 5% of the 25" of properties with [non-hidden] cameras were actually inside the guest’s private space.

The way this info-graph summarizing survey results is laid out is deliberately misleading. This is deliberate – consumer-research professionals know better than to do this by sloppy accident. It has all the hallmarks of of a hit-job designed to create suspicion of STR – and cleverly sold by PR people to a newsroom that specializes in “the-sky-is-falling” narratives.

My guess is it all comes from somewhere in the hotel sector that is feeling the burn from Airbnb grabbing $10b a year and growing by almost 20% annually


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And one of the key words is “claimed”. People claim all kinds of things, it doesn’t mean it was proven to be true.

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The key point is that – in this survey – they are not showing anyone is claiming to find a hidden camera.


Correct (aside from the 1 thief) the guests that overstep boundaries, 1 was new without reviews but the others already had several 5 star reviews & communicated well through messages, I even met some that seem great/friendly, no red flags. I must admit some of my best guests were new & didn’t have any reviews.

I am also a single female but my young adult children live at home. I have a 2 family house so we keep as much of our stuff as we can on the 1st floor. We mainly use the 1st fl bathroom and leave the 2nd fl bathroom to the guests. Most of my guests just come for 1 night to be closer to the airport so they don’t really use the kitchen. I leave them water bottles & snacks. There is a full size fridge, a microwave, hot plate & instant coffee just in case they need it.

Indeed, just 1 room will be less stressful.

Thank you for sharing this info. I will have to call as well. I left feedback about it & sent a message to customer support but I only received the generic message about reading the rules.

I was simply pointing out that the media, for whatever reason, keeps reporting that rentals have cameras. That puts AirBnB in an unfavorable light, so AirBnB apparently had to do something to address that.


I suspect these “horror stories” are being deliberately amplified by negative PR experts working for the hotel sector


For thousands of years, there were few if any ‘hotels’; rooms in homes was a regular thing. Painting that as somehow less ‘safe’ than an impersonal hotel is quite a PR feat for the hotel industry. Then again, this is the USA, where politics are skewed by crude MAGAts and religion is thought of as morality…


They may be visible to you, but I can’t pick out any cameras in all that hodgepodge of stuff on the walls.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. You said “my visible indoor cameras”, so I assumed there were cameras visible in the photos.

Did you have a camera in the hallway on your 2nd level? Do you have your private spaces upstairs where the guests will be staying too?