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  • Navigating New Norms: Airbnb’s Updated Surveillance Policies in Communal Areas

The growth of Airbnb as a platform for unique stays has brought forth the need for clear guidelines on security and privacy. With over 2 million guests staying in Airbnb homes each night globally, trust and safety are paramount. The platform’s recent updates to its surveillance policies underscore a commitment to fostering trust within its community.Airbnb’s surveillance policy has evolved significantly, reflecting technological advancements and the need to protect both hosts and guests. The prohibition of hidden cameras and the strict ban on recording devices in private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms highlight Airbnb’s commitment to privacy. These changes, effective April 30, 2024, also emphasise the allowance of outdoor security devices, provided they adhere to Airbnb’s guidelines and are properly disclosed to guests Use and disclosure of security cameras, recording devices, noise decibel monitors and smart home devices – Airbnb Help Centre

Why Surveillance Matters

For hosts, surveillance systems are crucial for protecting their property and ensuring the safety of guests. They can deter unwelcome behaviour and provide evidence if disputes arise. For guests, knowing a property is monitored can enhance their sense of security, as long as their privacy is respected. The presence of disclosed surveillance in communal areas like living rooms or outdoor spaces can strike a balance, offering security without infringing on personal privacy​​.

How to Comply with Airbnb’s Surveillance Policy

Airbnb requires hosts to disclose the presence of all surveillance devices in their listing descriptions. This includes cameras, noise monitors, and other smart devices that are in public or common areas. Importantly, these devices must not be placed in private areas where guests expect privacy, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. Disclosure helps set clear expectations and builds trust between hosts and guests​​​​. {“”}