Airbnb bans indoor security cameras to safeguard guest privacy

Airbnb says hosts are now banned from using indoor security cameras in order to prioritize the privacy of guests. 

The online homestay rental company said it once allowed indoor security cameras in common areas of listings, such as hallways and living rooms. However, hosts had to disclose the property had cameras on the listing page. 

"Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb," Juniper Downs, Airbnb’s Head of Community Policy and Partnerships, said in an online message. "These changes were made in consultation with our guests, Hosts and privacy experts, and we’ll continue to seek feedback to help ensure our policies work for our global community."


An Airbnb logo (download app page) displayed on a smartphone is seen in L'Aquila, Italy, on september 9th, 2023. Some metropolises and countries are imposing restrictions on Airbnb hosts to protect the hotel industry. (Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPho

The company said most listings on its website do not report having security cameras. 

Airbnb also updated its policy regarding outdoor security cameras and other devices. The company  said doorbell cameras and noise decibel monitors are allowed but must be disclosed to guests before they book the property. However, the cameras cannot monitor indoor spaces and cannot monitor outdoor areas where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as an enclosed outdoor shower or sauna. 

RELATED: Texas couple sues Maryland man after Airbnb nightmare

The new policy will go into effect on April 30. Violations could include having the property removed from Airbnb listings.  

Last year, a couple sued a Maryland man after discovering hidden cameras in the Airbnb they rented from him. The lawsuit alleges "Plaintiffs’ privacy was invaded by multiple hidden cameras disguised as smoke detectors that had been placed in the bathroom and bedroom at their Airbnb rental." 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.