Are short-term rental hosts spying on their guests? It’s a concern for many, as a video posted on TikTok showing guests how to spot hidden cameras inside these properties has been viewed more than 11 million times.
The video was posted by Marcus Hutchins, a self-described hacker and cybersecurity educator, who shows how to identify tiny cameras inside fire alarms, clocks, and USB chargers. In the video, he recommends shining a bright light on such devices. “If you hit a camera lens, it’s going to give a bluish reflection,” Hutchins says.
Airbnb and other hospitality businesses have received reports of cameras being hidden inside rental properties, Newsweek reports. Airbnb’s company policies state that “intentionally concealed recording devices (such as hidden security cameras) are never permitted.”
“When we are made aware of a report, we permanently ban the bad actor from our platform, fully support those affected and work with law enforcement to help ensure justice will be served,” Jeff Henry, an Airbnb spokesperson, told Newsweek. “Cameras are never allowed in bathrooms or bedrooms. Any other cameras must be properly disclosed to guests ahead of time.”