Airbnb, the popular home rental platform, has announced a major change to its security camera policy. Starting April 30, the company will no longer allow hosts to have cameras inside the places they rent out. This decision comes as Airbnb aims to better protect the privacy of its users.

Airbnb Updates Privacy Rules, Prohibits Indoor Surveillance

(Photo : Taylor Heery on Unsplash)

Airbnb Bans Indoor Cameras to Protect Privacy

Until now, Airbnb allowed hosts to use cameras in common areas of a rental, like hallways and living rooms, as long as they told guests about them before they booked their stay. Travel Weekly reported that cameras were never allowed in private areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms. However, the new policy is stricter: no cameras are allowed inside, no matter the reason or if they were previously disclosed.

Outdoor cameras are still okay, but only if the host tells guests about them before they book. These cameras must not look into indoor spaces or places outside where guests expect more privacy, like outdoor showers or saunas.

Airbnb also allows hosts to use noise decibel monitors in common areas. These devices can check how loud it is but can't record or listen to what's being said. Hosts need to tell guests about these devices before they book.

The company made this decision to ban indoor cameras after talking with many people, including guests, hosts, privacy experts, and advocacy groups. Airbnb stated that breaking these new rules could lead to a host's listing being removed or their account being banned.

This update highlights Airbnb's commitment to prioritizing the privacy and safety of its community, ensuring guests feel comfortable and secure during their stays.

Related Article: Cozy Airbnb Rentals: Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Airbnb Introduces New Badges for Top Properties

Airbnb is rolling out a spring update, adding a fresh badge system to help travelers identify the best places to stay. 

According to TechCrunch, the new badge will spotlight the top 25% and 1% of properties, based on things like guest reviews, how often the host cancels, and the quality of customer service. This is in addition to the "Superhost" and "Guest Favorites" labels that already exist. 

For the first time, Airbnb will also mark the lowest 10% of listings to warn about low quality, having removed 100,000 properties from the platform since upgrading its quality checks in April.

Moreover, Airbnb is improving how users can sort reviews, now including an option to see the lowest-rated reviews first. This follows the feature introduced last November that allowed sorting by most recent or highest rated reviews.

Another significant update from Airbnb is the verification of nearly 1.5 million properties in its top five markets by the end of the month to eliminate fake listings. The verification process uses technology and human checks, with a badge shown on verified listings. Airbnb plans to extend this verification to 30 more countries by the third quarter of the year.

Airbnb's CEO, Brian Chesky, hinted at more updates to come, including AI-powered tools to enhance the user experience. These efforts aim to make Airbnb the go-to platform for easy and trustworthy travel bookings.

Read Also: Hotels Plan To Counter Airbnb's Presence In The Tourism Industry