Maryland Attorney Warns of Hidden Cameras in Airbnb Rentals

As the popularity of short-term rentals continues to rise, so does the concern for guests’ privacy. A Maryland attorney, Johnathan Smith, warns travelers to be cautious when renting Airbnb properties, as hidden cameras may lurk in unexpected places.

Smith specializes in privacy law and has seen more cases involving hidden cameras in vacation rentals. The cameras are often disguised as everyday objects, such as alarm clocks, smoke detectors, and even plants. The cameras can be used to spy on guests, which is not only a violation of privacy but also illegal.

Smith advises travelers to take precautions when renting an Airbnb property. He suggests using a flashlight to scan the room for hidden cameras and checking the Airbnb listing for any mention of security cameras. Guests should ask the host to turn off cameras during their stay if there are cameras.

Airbnb has a strict policy against hidden cameras and requires hosts to disclose any cameras in their listings. If guests find a hidden camera in their rental, they should report it to Airbnb immediately. The company will investigate and remove the listing if necessary.

Smith recommends that travelers take extra steps to protect their privacy, such as using a VPN (virtual private network) when accessing the internet and covering any cameras on their devices. He also suggests using a portable door lock or wedge to secure the rental from the inside.

Airbnb has faced criticism in the past for its handling of privacy concerns. In 2019, a family discovered a hidden camera in their Airbnb rental in Ireland disguised as a smoke detector. Airbnb refunded the family and removed the listing, but the incident raised questions about the company’s safety measures.

Airbnb has implemented several measures to improve guest safety, including a 24/7 support hotline and a team dedicated to handling safety concerns. The company also requires hosts to verify their identity and provides them with resources to create a safe and welcoming environment for guests.

Despite these efforts, privacy concerns remain a significant issue for short-term rentals. Smith urges travelers to be vigilant and take steps to protect their privacy when renting an Airbnb property.

Airbnb Responds to Privacy Concerns

In response to the recent concerns over hidden cameras in Airbnb rentals, the company has released a statement emphasizing its commitment to guest safety and privacy.

“We take privacy very seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for hidden cameras in our listings,” the statement reads. “

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