Not long ago, stories about Airbnb hosts spying on guests caused moral outrage and restrictions throughout the platform’s community.
Now, the home-sharing giant is actively encouraging its hosts to spy on their guests. Well, sort of.
As part of its crackdown on “party houses” Airbnb has recommended a series of devices hosts can use to monitor changes in the noise level of their listing.
“We want to help you protect your space, maintain the privacy of your guests, and preserve your relationship with neighbors. This means helping you detect issues in real time,” Airbnb said on its website.
“Noise sensors don’t record sounds. They monitor changes in the noise level in your home.”
The platform recommends three devices, from ultra-high-tech devices that alerts hosts of changes in noise, temperature, humidity and acts as an alarm when the property is unoccupied, to more simple devices which send a text message to hosts and guests if things get too rowdy.
Airbnb is also offering hosts a discount on the devices as well as a subscription period.
The platform announced it would be cracking down on party houses in December last year in response to the deaths of five people who were shot at a Halloween party in San Francisco that was hosted as an Airbnb property.
Airbnb made a $218,070,000 commitment to a spate of new policies, protections and tools to improve safety for guests, hosts and neighbours including dozens of specially trained agents to shut down unauthorised parties and provide rapid response to its online and telephone channels for “urgent neighbourhood issues”.
The new policies and tools include a Neighbourhood Support Page and phoneline, manual review of high-risk reservations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, updated guest refund policies, opportunities to purchase noise detectors and a new feature on the app for contacting local authorities in the event of an emergency.
Featured image: iStock/mrtom-uk