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3.11.24 – NBC News

Airbnb is banning indoor security cameras from rental properties listed on its site, citing privacy concerns.

The platform had allowed cameras in common areas like hallways and living rooms as long as they were clearly mentioned in a property’s listings.

Those will now be banned, too.

“Our goal was to create new, clear rules that provide our community with greater clarity about what to expect on Airbnb,” Juniper Downs, Airbnb’s head of community policy and partnerships, said in a release. “These changes were made in consultation with our guests, Hosts and privacy experts, and we’ll continue to seek feedback to help ensure our policies work for our global community.”

Airbnb said the new rules would be likely to affect only a “smaller subset” of listings given that most properties don’t have cameras.

The company is also revising its rules about outdoor security cameras and other devices, like noise decibel monitors. All of them must now be disclosed in property listings.

The privacy advocacy group Surveillance Technology Oversight Project praised the move.

“No one should have to worry about being recorded in a rental, whether the bedroom, the living room, or a hall,” Executive Director Albert Fox Cahn said in a release. “Getting rid of these cameras is a clear win for privacy and safety, and we know that these recording devices are ripe for abuse.”

Airbnb shares have nearly doubled after they hit a low in December 2022 amid still-healthy demand, though the company also has announced stock purchases that cause the price to go up. Even as there were a record 99 million bookings in its most recent quarter, Airbnb said in a release that it is looking to “reinvent” itself over the next several years.

“I think that Airbnb can go far beyond travel in the coming years, but I think we’re going to start with our core,” CEO Brian Chesky said, according to The Financial Times. “We’ll start with travel, and then down the road we can move beyond travel.”

Rob Wile

Rob Wile is a breaking business news reporter for NBC News Digital.