Airbnb bans indoor security cameras: When does new rule come into effect?

Noncompliant hosts may be blocked from booking guests or have their listings removed from platform

The California-based company said the changes were made in consultation with guests, hosts and privacy experts. AFP
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Airbnb has announced it is banning the use of indoor security cameras for all of its listings worldwide.

The California-based company said the changes were made in consultation with guests, hosts and privacy experts. Customers had previously issued complaints about the use of indoor cameras.

“Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb,” said Juniper Downs, Airbnb's head of community policy and partnerships.

Here is how the changes will affect hosts and when the new rules will go into effect.

Why is Airbnb banning indoor security cameras?

Airbnb said the move was to simplify its policy on security cameras “and to continue to prioritise the privacy of our community”.

Previously, the company allowed the use of security cameras in common places such as kitchens and living areas if they were clearly disclosed on a host's listing page. The devices were not allowed in bedrooms or bathrooms.

Under the new rule, all indoor cameras will be prohibited regardless of prior disclosure, location or purpose.

Outdoor cameras where guests expect privacy, such as saunas or showers, are also prohibited.

Hosts must also disclose the location not only of outdoor cameras, but also of noise decibel monitors, which must “assess decibel level only and do not record or transmit sounds or conversations and are only allowed in common spaces of listings”, Airbnb said.

Doorbell cameras will continue to be permitted so hosts can monitor security in their home and help prevent issues such as unauthorised parties.

Hosts will not be required to disclose cameras or recording devices that are outside of their control, such as a security camera in the lobby of an apartment complex, Airbnb said.

The update comes a week after US television show Saturday Night Live parodied an Airbnb advert that poked fun at hosts' interior designs and also included a security camera inside one of the bedrooms.

When will the update go into effect?

Airbnb said the rules will apply as from April 30.

“After this, reported violations of this policy brought to our attention will be investigated and action we take can includes listing or account removal,” the company said.

Noncompliant hosts may also have their calendars blocked from future bookings.

Airbnb said the change in policy was expected to affect a small number of listings on its platforms as most do not have security cameras.

Updated: March 12, 2024, 4:56 PM