Paying to sleep with a stranger is now a common transaction thanks to peer-to-peer rental services like Airbnb. But it would be foolish to think that there are no inherent risks. A couple from Indiana on vacation in Florida discovered it the hard way when they discovered a video camera hidden in the bedroom of their Airbnb rental, ABC Reports.
Already one night after the start of their stay, Derek Starnes and his wife “panicked” when they looked at their ceiling to find a small black hole sitting on the side of a smoke detector. They quickly took the device apart and realized that it was not a smoke detector at all, but a video camera recording HD video and audio to an SD card.
The couple then alerted the police who searched the rental and found another video camera in another room. The house at 623 Cedars Court has reportedly been listed on Airbnb for two years.
“We have seized a lot of computer data storage devices, hard drives, computers, SD cards from laptops, anything that could store data,” Lt. Bob Bourque told ABC. “We don’t know if there are any local victims, someone who maybe dated him or a companion who doesn’t realize they are being filmed, then we have the other side of who he is. rented through Airbnb. “
Police arrested Wayne Natt, 56, and charged him with one count of video voyeurism. Bourque said Natt made a statement to police, claiming that everyone he filmed gave his consent, and that there were “dozens of videos” of people engaging in sex parties at the House. He admitted that the camera was intended to record “sexual activity”.
Starnes said Natt has over 40 reviews on Airbnb. The couple are hoping other users who have stayed at home will come forward. Starnes told ABC he was certain the video camera had captured him walking around the bedroom naked and said he and his wife were upset by the incident.
Airbnb’s Terms of Service require a host to clearly disclose any monitoring device installed in their home to their guests. Airbnb also bans devices capable of capturing or transmitting audio, video, or still images in private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
An Airbnb spokesperson sent ABC a statement regarding the incident:
“We are outraged by the information about what happened; As soon as we were notified, we have permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the guests concerned. Our team has contacted local law enforcement to assist them in their investigation of this blatant violation and we hope that justice will be served. We take privacy concerns very seriously and have a zero tolerance policy against this behavior. “
You can read Airbnb’s rules at “Electronic monitoring devices” here.
H / T Vice
* First published: October 10, 2017, 4:28 p.m. CDT
Phillip Tracy is a former technical writer for The Daily Dot. He’s an expert on smartphones, social media trends and gadgets. He previously covered IoT and Telecommunications for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.