- Airbnb is encouraging hosts to install sensors that detect high humidity and noise in an attempt to crack down on parties.
- The short-term rental company is offering discounts on three “party prevention” devices ranging from $US100 to $US150.
- Airbnb has committed to strongly enforcing its ban on parties after five partygoers were killed in a shootout at a California Airbnb in October.
- The platform has also fended off reports of hosts using hidden devices to spy on guests.
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Airbnb is cracking down on parties – and it wants hosts to deploy surveillance devices to stop them.
The short-term rental company is encouraging hosts to buy “party prevention” smart devices that monitor sharp increases in noise or humidity, sending an alert if guests are breaking the platform’s rule against parties.
Airbnb has been strictly enforcing its rules against parties in units this year, following the death of five partygoers who were killed in a shooting at a California Airbnb in October. In the wake of that party, CEO Brian Chesky vowed to stop future “party houses.”
Starting today, we are banning “party houses” and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda. Here is what we are doing:
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) November 2, 2019
At the same time, the company has fielded concerns from guests who believe they’re being inappropriately surveilled by their hosts. Airbnb says it will enforce its policy against hosts secretly recording guests on hidden cameras in the wake of reports of spying.
The party prevention devices don’t record audio or video – rather, they monitor noise, heat, humidity, and motion in order to detect the conditions of a crowded party.
Airbnb is offering discounts on devices ranging from $US100-$US150, including those made by Minut, NoiseAware, and Roomonitor, Forbes first reported. NoiseAware devices have already monitored over 700,000 reservations, according to Airbnb’s website. One of the devices sold by NoiseAware shows homeowners a graph indicating the decibel level inside their house and alerts them when it spikes.
A Minut spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider that their products don’t violate privacy because they don’t record or transmit data.
“Respect for privacy runs through everything we do at Minut and we’re happy to see more and more people waking up to its importance. We believe that the best way to protect privacy is to not collect personal data in the first place. At Minut we accomplish this by recognising events on the device and never collecting nor even transmitting any sensitive data across the network,” the Minut spokesperson said.
An Airbnb spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.