Privacy at Airbnb rooms under threat

Spy Cam at Airbnb Rooms, Canada

A couple in Toronto, Canada, have claimed to have discovered a secret camera hidden in a digital clock in the Airbnb flat that they were renting.

Dougie Hamilton and his girlfriend said that the camera was disguised as a clock and pointed towards their bed in the holiday. It looked suspicious to them through the day and subsequently the 34-year-old started investigating the clock and its mystery.

He had recently watched a YouTube video on secret ‘spy’ cameras hidden in cuddly toys and buttons, Dougie said. But when he picked up the clock he managed to slide its face off quite easily and was horrified to find a tiny lens that may have been recording them, as reported by
Spy Camera within Digital Clock

On September 7, Dougie, from Glasgow, posted about his discovery on Facebook, writing,

‘If you use Airbnb, then you’ll definitely want to read this and possibly stop using them.’

He explained,

‘We booked a one night stay in a lovely apartment in the centre of Toronto for last night (September 6) ‘We had a crazy busy day around the city and finally were able to get to the Airbnb and relax or so we thought. I was laying on the couch and this digital clock is facing into the living area and open plan bedroom left with my thoughts, that video pops into my head, imagine if it was the spy camera in the clock”.
Digital Clock

After removing the clock’s charger and discovering a lithium battery in the back of the device the front face of the clock cam off and revealed the camera. The couple have since alerted Airbnb and police in Canada, who are both investigating.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Dougie said,

“(Airbnb) told us the property owner has six other properties and hundreds of reviews, so it looks like we’ve been lucky. We were only in the place for 20 minutes when I noticed the clock. It was connected to a wire like a phone charger which wasn’t quite right. I felt a bit weird even thinking it and I kept telling myself not to be daft. But there was just something.”

Dougie and his girlfriend – who asked not to be named – said they found the encounter ‘creepy’. A spokeswoman for Toronto police said,

“We received a call last Thursday regarding what appeared to be a video camera in a clock in an apartment. The investigation is continuing. Airbnb has also told Dougie its security team are looking into the claims and offered him a full refund. They said they would be cancelling upcoming reservations for the owner’s properties”, he added.
Dougie Hamilton – Airbnb guest

A spokesperson for Airbnb said,

“We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero tolerance policy for this behaviour. We have removed the host from the platform while we investigate and are providing the guest with our full support.”



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