At least 10% of Airbnb rentals found to have hidden video cameras
05/22/2019 // Ethan Huff // Views

The popular vacation rental platform Airbnb is planning to go public later this year, hailing incredible success from its innovative community-sharing model. But there may still be a few more kinks that need to be ironed out before then, including the problem of some Airbnb hosts installing hidden cameras without notifying their guests.

While it's considered permissible for Airbnb hosts to install surveillance cameras outside of their properties, or even indoors in common areas like kitchens and living rooms if they feel the need, under no circumstances should hidden cameras ever be installed in bedrooms or bathrooms – though this may be happening at a very small percentage of properties.

According to a recent survey conducted by IPX 1031, 11 percent of the 2,023 Americans surveyed by the group who say they've stayed at an Airbnb at least once claim that they've discovered hidden cameras inside Airbnb rentals – though they didn't indicate where these cameras were found.

In today's growing surveillance society, hidden cameras are popping up all over the place, which means their presence at some Airbnb rentals isn't necessarily out of the ordinary. But since Airbnb guests have no way to know whether or not the properties they're staying at have them, there are concerns among some that spying might be taking place.

Based on the findings of the IPX 1031 survey, more than half, or 58 percent of respondents, say they're worried about the presence of hidden cameras inside Airbnb rentals. More than 75 percent say they're okay with said cameras being in common areas, but obviously none of them want there to be hidden cameras anywhere else.


While there's not much Airbnb can do about this other than to simply inform its hosts and "Superhosts" about the proper guidelines for cameras and surveillance, it remains a point of contention for some potential Airbnb guests who might be leery, or perhaps borderline paranoid, that they might be getting surveilled while traveling – and who may choose to stay at a hotel instead.

It's important to keep in mind, however, that hidden cameras could be in motels and hotels, too. This is the world we live in, after all – an expanding police state where cameras are appearing in public on light posts, traffic lights, building exteriors, and really anywhere else they can be at least somewhat discreetly placed.

Most Airbnb guests still say they've had positive experiences, and have never encountered hidden cameras where they shouldn't be

The other thing that's also noted in the survey is that the vast majority of Airbnb guests are happy with their experiences, and haven't ever encountered anything shady like hidden cameras in bedrooms or bathrooms. In fact, most Airbnb guests say they actually prefer not to meet Airbnb hosts in person, and are already able to gather the information they need prior to booking in order to feel safe and secure.

"According to our survey, only 30% feel it's necessary to meet their host," says IPX 1031. "A majority would rather communicate virtually or over the phone and be able to access the property through a lockbox or keypad. And while most respondents said they trust their Airbnb host (83%), more than half are still leery about the host having access to the property (and their belongings) 24/7."

"Superhost" status is another important thing to many potential Airbnb guests, as maintaining this coveted status as an Airbnb host is considered a valid indication of trustworthiness.

"According to respondents, first impressions and trustworthiness certainly go hand in hand when it comes to renting an Airbnb," IPX 1031 further states about its survey findings.

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