Airbnb is encountering a hidden-camera problem once again.
Just after last week’s report by The Atlantic, where the news organization detailed an extensive report on various guests who claimed that their Airbnb host had installed a hidden camera in the bedroom, another shocking story of a Santa Ana couple has emerged out claiming that they have found a hidden camera in their Airbnb bedroom at Orange County, California.
ABC7 reports that Christian Aranda and his girlfriend Alondra Salas have found a hidden camera inside of what looked like a smoke detector in the room’s ceiling pointing at the bed. Aranda informed the media outlet that the owner admitted that there was a camera but also affirmed that it was not recording.
Interestingly, the owner had listed the place as “cozy and romantic” on Airbnb site, however, it turned out to be quite horrifying for the couple. The couple despite finding the camera at Airbnb residence decided to stay the night in the room. However, they later reported the incidence to the law enforcement agency.
Moreover, the Garden Grove Police confirmed that there was a camera installed in the smoke detector, though it apparently was not recording. As Andra told ABC7 News about the behavior of the owner,
“She just said that they were off, and I was like, ‘it doesn’t matter if they’re off! They shouldn’t be there in the first place pointing at the bed.”
The homeowner has not commented on the situation and apparently, her identity has been kept confidential by Airbnb. As the company said in a statement;
“The safety and privacy of our community – both online and offline — is our priority. Airbnb’s policies prohibit hidden cameras in listings, and we take reports of any violations very seriously. We promptly removed this host from our platform and completely refunded Ms. Salas based on the information reported. There have been more than 500 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are incredibly rare.”
A series of incidents like these have raised serious concerns that Airbnb cannot ensure the privacy and safety of people using its platform. The company does not own its rental properties or employ its hosts; the innovation that propelled it to a $31 billion valuation was managing, branding, and putting a professional cover on the idea of sleeping in a stranger’s house.
This means that you are on your own. And if you want to search for any undisclosed cameras in the property read this. It must also be noted that Airbnb will take interest in resolving your issue only if you find a camera inside the bedroom or bathroom. However, if you find an undisclosed camera in the private living room, Airbnb will not support you.