Airbnb bans Cork landlord for life after family find hidden camera in home
Airbnb has apologised after a family visiting from New Zealand discovered a hidden camera in their Airbnb in Ireland.
Andrew and Nealie Barker had rented a house in Cork for them and their five children as they visited from New Zealand.
They arrived on 3 March and soon realised that they were being watched on a camera in the living room.
The discovery was made when Mr Barker went to connect his phone to the house's wifi and noticed a device labelled 'IP camera'.
"He scanned that device's ports and found the live video feed. We were all watching ourselves on his mobile phone," Ms Barker told Stuff.com.
The camera had a view of the living room, dining area and kitchen.
"We have encountered lots of weird and wonderful things and like to think we take most things in our stride. However this was shocking," she continued.
"It was late at night, but we decided fairly quickly we didn't feel comfortable about staying at the house."
The family moved to a nearby hotel and later contacted the property owner.
The man refused to say whether the camera was recording.
When they said that they could see themselves on the camera's feed he "became flustered and hung up", Ms Barker said.
"He later called back and admitted there was only one hidden camera and that he had installed it to 'protect his asset'."
In response, Airbnb has said that it had "bad actor" from the site and that it strictly prohibits the use of hidden cameras.
It apologised to the family and said they had been refunded in full.
Ms Barker said she hoped that previous guests at the property would be informed that they had been captured on camera there.
"This protects guests and also gives reassurance to the many great hosts that their livelihood is being protected by weeding out the bad hosts."