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  • Voltaire Staff

Airbnb neglected hidden camera complaints from multiple guests over years, reveals investigation



Airbnb, one of the world’s largest short-term rental companies, has been found to have been frequently neglecting guests' complaints of finding hidden cameras in their rental's bedrooms and bathrooms. 


According to an investigation by CNN, which reviewed court and police records from a last year's lawsuit against the firm, there have been thousands of private images on record of people who once hired properties through the company's app.


The photos show guests during their private moments, including changing clothes, having sex, and moments with their children, all captured through hidden cameras at the property.

 

At a court deposition earlier last year, an Airbnb representative said that the hidden camera problem is very rare.


However, it was revealed that the company doesn’t, as a matter of practice, notify law enforcement, not even when a child is involved, in cases of such breaches.


The CNN investigation found that Airbnb time and again failed to protect its guest's privacy despite being aware of the problem of hidden cameras in the industry.


Moreover, Airbnb's strategies have been focused on preventing regulation of the short-term market, so that the company can distance itself from responsibility for guest safety and privacy, it said.

 

"This is not my Social Security number or my email address. This is my naked body," a woman, whose host secretly recorded her having sex with her husband at a cottage in Texas, told CNN, which interviewed dozens of such putative victims and several former employees of the firm.

 

"We were aware of it, there were an abundance of cases coming in," said one former Airbnb employee.

 

An Airbnb spokesperson said in a written statement told CNN such complaints do not go unpunished by the company.


"Hidden camera complaints are rare, but when they do occur, we take appropriate, swift action, which can include removing hosts and listings that violate the policy," the person said.

 

Since its founding in 2007, Airbnb has emerged as a hotel industry disrupter, having acquired the market cap of more than that of big players like Marriot and Hyatt combined.


An Airbnb office in Toronto. Image Source: Wikipedia

 

 

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