Last week, an American archivist tweeted that one of his colleagues discovered a camera masked as a "motion detector" inside the bedroom of an Airbnb.
Jason Scott did not name his colleague, but he did post photos of the device.
Airbnb spokesperson Jeff Henry responded to the allegation by telling BuzzFeed News that such incidents are rare.
"Cameras are never allowed in bathrooms or bedrooms; any other cameras must be properly disclosed to guests ahead of time," Henry said, adding that Airbnb permanently banned the host in question and issued a full refund to the guest who made the jarring discovery.
This isn't the only incident in which hidden cameras have been discovered inside an Airbnb. A couple from Indiana stayed at an Airbnb in Florida during October, and they discovered a hidden camera in the property’s master bedroom. The camera, which was allegedly pointed right at the bed, was disguised as a smoke detector, WFTS reported.
Derek Starnes, one of the Indiana guests, said he noticed a black hole in the smoke detector, which prompted him to investigate. The camera was allegedly recording footage onto an SD card, and Starnes immediately called the police.
“We seized a lot of computer storage data devices,” Longboat Key police Lt. Bob Bourque told WFTS, adding that the Airbnb host, Wayne Natt, had rented out this townhouse for two years.
Natt has since been charged with one count of video voyeurism, Fox 13 reported.
Airbnb put out a statement on the matter: “We are outraged at the reports of what happened; as soon as we were made aware, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests. Our team has reached out to local law enforcement to aid them with their investigation of this egregious offense and we hope justice is served. We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior.”
Several Twitter users are now offering tips for people concerned about hidden cameras while vacationing.
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