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Airbnb's Hidden Camera Problem (cnn.com)
28 points by ChrisMarshallNY 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments





"The company, through its representative, was supposed to comply with a court order to quantify how many complaints or reports had been made to Airbnb by people who had been recorded by surveillance devices since December 1, 2013.

The Airbnb representative came to the table with a number. Her testimony revealed the company generated 35,000 customer support tickets about surveillance devices in the preceding decade."

That works out as a roughly ten support tickets /per day/ about surveillance devices over the last ten years! (EDIT: that's not a very useful statistic since we don't know how their overall usage grew over that ten year period)

For full context, the next paragraph reads:

"In the deposition, the Airbnb representative sought to downplay the significance of the number of tickets, testifying they could reflect instances such as a malfunctioning doorbell camera or a tablet with recording capabilities left out on a coffee table. The representative did not provide any statistics detailing the number of claims she suggested were innocuous among the 35,000 tickets."


> That works out as a roughly ten support tickets /per day/ about surveillance devices over the last ten years!

What is that percentage wise from booking numbers?


You'd have to ask Airbnb (and I doubt they would tell you without a court order).

Given that their usage changed a lot over the past ten years my "roughly ten per day" is entirely inaccurate - presumably it was way less when they were smaller and much more than that now.


Is this an airbnb problem or should the customers just accept the fact that they are in a rented room where they owner can be any weird person ?

If airbnb is not taking actions against hosts for whom the problem has been reported, then it is an another thing.


Reporting? Surely overtly criminal activity is beyond reporting to airbnb.

Is it overtly criminal (in the US)? Or are any laws around recording in short-term rentals explicitly for hotels/motels (and Airbnb has a legal loophole)?

It definitely should be illegal to record people without consent when they're inside rented accommodation. I'm just not sure it is.


Seems to vary by state in the US; some states allow it with one party consent, and my understanding is that’s where the gray area is - if you are renting part of a home, can the owner consent on the renters behalf. Privacy is not well entrenched in federal law here.

It seems clearly morally wrong, even if the law does not (as usual) reflect the morality of the law's constituents.

In what context would it be reasonable to film a hotel (or cohotelling or whatever bullshit term they invented to dodge regulations) room without someone's knowledge? This is literal horror story shit. Perhaps people should be angrier at the state rather than the hotel app



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