Here's something to try to put out of your mind the next time you stay anywhere outside your own home: A couple on Reddit is claiming to have discovered a hidden camera pointed at their bed in an Airbnb rental.
The photo, posted by user zedmin to the subreddit r/wtf came with the claim "We found a hidden camera pointing at the bed in our new year's airbnb rental..."
Later posts explained that the camera was repositioned for the picture after the couple unplugged it, and that the camera was "tucked inside the bottom of the box, pointing out of a hole in the mesh."
As Betabeat points out, if the claim is true, there's very little legal precedent to explain if the host could be in legal trouble. A hotel guest has a legal right to a reasonable expectation of privacy, but Airbnb rentals occupy a "murky" in-between area.
In many states, if a homeowner takes payment from guests, their home ceases to be considered a private residence under the eyes of the law. This is what protects tenants from having their actions recorded by landlords. But for that to apply to Airbnb hosts, they would have to admit that hosts are running commercial enterprises — or at very least, short-term leases — which would ruin their multi-million dollar campaign to insist that's not the case.
Airbnb addresses cameras in its hosting policies:
"Always be mindful of your guests’ privacy. Fully disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment at or around your listing. Make sure you are aware of and comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws."
[Via Daily Dot]