Airbnb Bans Security Cameras Indoors Worldwide

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Airbnb is officially banning the use of security cameras inside its listings, the short-term-rental giant said Monday.

Hosts have until April 30 to remove any cameras from hallways, common rooms, and other interior spaces where they were previously permitted.

Until now, cameras were allowed inside Airbnbs if hosts disclosed their presence in their online listings. Now Airbnb said it is changing its policy to a blanket ban after consulting with “guests, hosts, and privacy experts.”

Outdoor security cameras can remain in place as long as they’re disclosed in the listings. Doorbell cameras and noise monitors will still be allowed. Cameras in sleeping areas were already banned by Airbnb.

After April 30, reported violations of the policy could result in the removal of a host’s listing or their entire account, according to a statement from Airbnb on the security-camera ban.

Airbnb security cameras divide hosts and guests

Hosts and guests have clashed in the past on the use of security cameras in Airbnbs.

Some hosts have maintained that cameras are integral to the upkeep of their short-term rentals, allowing them to hold guests accountable for damage or prevent parties from being thrown. (Parties are also banned by Airbnb.)

Zach Narus, an Airbnb host in Arizona, told Business Insider in 2023 that cameras afforded him “peace of mind” during guest stays. Narus believed the cameras kept guests “honest” and allowed him to troubleshoot issues that might arise as he managed a two-bedroom cabin remotely.

Lisa Lewis said last year that cameras were essential to running her two-bedroom rental in Foley, Alabama, a city near the Gulf of Mexico’s beaches and the Florida border.

She said she used the footage to make sure guests were not unaccompanied minors and that they weren’t hosting large get-togethers. Lewis said she also used the camera to charge $100 to guests who attempted to check in early or check out late without first informing her.

Some guests, however, have expressed concerns about being watched.

People have reported on social media that they’ve been spied on while staying at Airbnb rentals. Max Vest, a Florida resident, told The Atlantic in 2019 that he found undisclosed cameras in a Miami Airbnb. He saw tiny lights while he was sleeping and quickly left the rental.

“I didn’t know if I was being watched live,” he told The Atlantic.