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Hidden Camera Concerns Plague Short-Term Rental Industry

Published by Slashdot on Wed, 10 Jul 2024


An anonymous reader shares a report: A CNN investigation found the use of hidden cameras is a persistent problem in the industry. Regulations are sparse, and the punishments for those that commit these crimes are lenient -- video voyeurism is typically charged as a misdemeanor. Meanwhile, the people who are recorded -- often naked or engaging in sexual activities -- say they suffer from long-term trauma and the fear that their images could, at any moment, be disseminated on the internet. An Airbnb spokesperson told CNN that hidden camera complaints are rare, but when they do occur, "we take appropriate, swift action, which can include removing hosts and listings that violate the policy." At a court-ordered deposition last year, an Airbnb representative was supposed to answer a key question from the attorney suing the company: How many complaints or reports had been made to Airbnb since December 1, 2013, of people who had been recorded by surveillance devices' The Airbnb representative testified that the company generated 35,000 customer support tickets about surveillance devices in the preceding decade. An Airbnb spokesperson told CNN that a single report could create multiple tickets. The company declined to specify how many unique complaints there have been. In the deposition, which has not been previously reported, the company 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.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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