Airbnb banning indoor security cameras

Airbnb will start banning the use of indoor security cameras in all listings globally at the end of next month, the company announced Monday.

The goal of the policy shift, the company said, is to “simplify our policy on security cameras” while continuing “to prioritize the privacy of our community.”

The revised policy also comes as a result of “extensive consultation” with guests, hosts, privacy experts and advocacy groups, the company said.

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

In the past, security cameras were permitted in certain areas inside, as long as they were disclosed on the listing page prior to booking and were clearly visible. The cameras were not allowed in sleeping areas and bathrooms, but they were allowed in hallways and living rooms. Now, Airbnb is banning all cameras, “regardless of their location.”

Airbnb also revised its policy on outdoor security cameras. Doorbell cameras and other outdoor security devices are permitted, but they must be disclosed before guests book the listings. The cameras outside also will not be permitted to monitor areas where “there’s a greater expectation of privacy, like an outdoor shower or sauna.”

Noise decibel monitors are permitted in common spaces. The devices monitor sound levels — which can be a useful tool to deter issues like unauthorized parties — and do not record sounds or conversations, the announcement said.

In the announcement, the company said it does not expect the updated rules to have much of an impact, noting that most listings do not report having security cameras. Still, the company announced the policy will take effect April 30, to allow time for hosts to make the necessary changes.

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