Camera in my Airbnb

I’m currently staying in an Airbnb, and I just found a camera. I should state that it wasn’t hidden or anything, but it’s up high and I didn’t notice it until we’d been staying here for a few days. I have no idea if it was on (it isn’t now, as I unplugged it). I also have no way of knowing if it was connected to anything. If it matters, it’s clearly an apartment that is in use by the owners on a regular basis as there are clothes in closets and perishable foods in the fridge. The camera is in the main living area, but that said, I’ve walked without clothes past it from the bathroom to the bedroom.

Airbnb has a camera policy that forbids them even if they aren’t hooked up to anything unless they are disclosed (and like I said it’s quite possible that it isn’t hooked up, and is just their general nanny camera).

It’s a really nice place, and the owners have been nice and allowed us to have a late checkout and change our check in without any complaints. Is this something you would bring up with them, or just let it slide?

What is the model number of the camera? Is it wifi or does it store the images on an SD card?


Airbnb allows you to report this without the host knowing.

You should def do that. If there’s a camera for none nefarious reasons, they should state so in the description. Many places have self check in and cameras so they can monitor who comes and goes. It always says as much in the description. (I’ve locked myself out of my room, and was saved by the camera, they could see me and direct me to a spare key!)

Do it !

That’s a very different situation (though your advice still holds) because the camera is inside the apartment, not outside it.

I guess my main concern is that if it is on, and they have no intention of reviewing the footage then it’s no harm/no foul. If I raise an issue, my guess is that they’re going to review the footage and my naked ass is on their camera.

Upon further review, in the “house rules” it says that surveillance footage will be reviewed if items are missing or damaged. So, I guess I agreed to that. I just had no idea this could possibly be allowed. So, my bad. And, now that I unplugged it, they’re definitely going to review the footage!

Ugh, I was being selfish, cause I just realized all my kids have been naked in front of that camera as well.


Is it possible to contact the owner, let them know about the mistake at hand, and have everyone present (adults) to delete the files unopened as children are involved?

possession of the file would be a crime unto itself.

Would it, though?

IANAL but I believe naked pictures of children is a crime in most places.

Also, you can’t write off your liabilities and that may also apply to laws in general. If it’s illegal to photograph people in private then noting it in a contract may not release criminal liability. Again, IANAL.

Not per se, in most places.

It certainly shouldn’t be if it is truly accidental. That said, I wouldn’t want those files on my computer. We have all seen how intelligent and just the system is.:smiley:

I’m staying in an AirBnB now, also. No cameras I see. It does not sound like their disclosure of the camera was very obvious. If you realized there was a camera there and wanted to steal something, you could get around it. If most people don’t realize there is a camera, thee is a big problem.
I’d write to AirBnB and say what you’ve said here - and acknowledge there was some disclosure, and tell about your kids. If I were reading those rules, I’d stop at the section on checking for theft, since I wouldn’t be planning to steal anything.
Your hosts could be facing an invasion of privacy lawsuit some day, so they had better make notification about the camera a separate signature item, or even put it on their listing. I would not stay in an AirBnB with a camera, and I suspect I’m not alone.
I’ve stayed in a bunch from Denmark to California, and none have had cameras.

That’s the thing. I’ve stayed in Airbnbs a lot, and guess i just assumed that cameras were a complete no no, so never bothered to check. But, now that I have, their rules allow for them if they are disclosed. So, henceforth, I will definitely check and not stay in a place with cameras. I guess this one is on me, as they disclosed it.

My mother was contemplating having some cameras installed in the home she used rent out. I had to remind her people might not like being video taped.

Completely innocent on her part. As soon as I reminded her she was like: “Oh shit. I suppose you’re right.”

From a legal standpoint, I’m not sure if the contract would cover the owners. AirBnB may allow them to put that in the contract, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the legal right to record. I thought businesses had to post a sign that they were recording video. Having something in the contract may not be sufficient, as not everyone who enters the house will have read the contract and been made aware of the camera. Even as we see here, the renters missed that in the contract.

I think it’s different if you install cameras in your own house. In that case, you know the cameras are there and you have the responsibility for letting guests know about them. But here the owners are not around to let people know, so I think they need to have posted signs so that guests are made aware.

I’d rather see the disclosure “WE HAVE A CAMERA. We’ll view the video if something is missing” versus what you got “If something is missing, we’ll view the video. Implication - there is a camera.”
Where was this in the rules anyway? Very visible, or buried in the middle?

I have a vacation rental in Hawaii where it is always nice and warm. I would never put a camera in the house. It is in a very secluded location on 8 acres. I fully expect the couples who rent it out to walk around naked at least inside.

If I was told there would be a camera in the vacation rental I was thinking of renting. I would look elsewhere.

No, pictures of children in a sexual situation is a crime. Now, nudity and sexual situations have a large degree of overlap, but you can have either one without the other.