back to article Airbnb host thrown in the clink after guest finds hidden camera inside Wi-Fi router

An Airbnb "superhost" has been arrested and jailed after a guest discovered a camera hidden inside an internet router placed in the bedroom. The perv had picked on the wrong woman. Yunfei (her online alias) works in IT security and always checks hotel rooms that she stays in. She became immediately suspicious when she arrived …

  1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Airbnb....

    Not bothering to watch the watchers...

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Airbnb....

      To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this. What they are responsible for however is acting on reports of nefarious activities such as this and cutting those hosts off their service immediately. There's no reason at all for them to not act swiftly and appropriately.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

        Why not?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

          Probably because there's no way they can really know. In this example - even if AirBnB held regular inspections of every room, the guy puts in an unmodified router for the inspection, then replaces it with the dodgy one when they leave. Maybe he only uses the dodgy router when he has a woman of a certain demographic staying there, so he doesn't have it in there for most of the month and so it's missed even during surprise visits. How are they responsible for that action?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

            "Probably because there's no way they can really know. In this example"

            The whole problem with their business model is that they're taking money for something for which they should take responsibility which they find difficult to do. Their response to the Irish incident suggests they expected to get away with doing nothing.

            It's their problem and we should hold them responsible for solving it. If they can't or won't then their entire business deserves to go down the tubes for being built on an unsustainable model.

            1. dfsmith

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              No, it's the market's responsibility to know what they are purchasing. Another AirBnB rival could start up with minimal overhead, and advertise "We check the properties for hidden cameras!", and if the market cared to pay for the extra service, then the rival would win more share. (In fact the "rivals" already exist in the form of hotels, lodges, etc. Not that they search for hidden cameras either....)

              1. jospanner
                Happy

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                And yet, people will take the cheapest option, because these sorts of benefits are hard to quantify. It's almost like "the market" is terrible at fixing this sort of problem, isn't it?

                1. SundogUK

                  Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                  If people CHOOSE to ignore these benefits, the market has worked perfectly and they deserve everything they get.

              2. julian.smith
                Facepalm

                " it's the market's responsibility to know what they are purchasing."

                (American?) libertarian BS.

                This is a classic case of market failure - no way that the buyer can be properly informed.

                A great case for market regulation.

              3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                I almost expected a quote about the "invisible hand of the market" there...

              4. ParasiteParty

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                "It's the market's responsibility"

                Neoliberal claptrap.

            2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              The whole problem with their business model is that they're taking money for something for which they should take responsibility which they find difficult to do.

              Also true of Uber, Lyft, Bird, Lime, and many other "disruptors."

              1. Tomato Krill

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                Even Google use it, and I make this point every time they or Facebook argue that they cant stop illegal things being posted on their platforms because it would require too many resources

                It seems the theory is if you cant do something properly, just do it on such a scale you can blame it on that scale...

            3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              The whole problem with their business model is that they're taking money for something for which they should take responsibility which they find difficult to do.

              The way I see it all they are responsible for is putting me in contact with someone willing to rent me a room, much like the local Gazzette might put me in touch with someone selling a car - they are not responsible for the condition or legal status of the car.

              Their response to the Irish incident suggests they expected to get away with doing nothing.

              Indeed that was bad. when reports like that come in , thats when they become responsible - or complicit in the crime.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              So should travel agents be held responsible as well? Should they check every room that they rent out?

              Imagine what that would do to the price of holidays. Would you be happy to pay the extra cost?

              Just saying

              Cheers... Ishy

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                So should travel agents be held responsible as well?

                Yes.

                (and, under some circumstances, they are in a legal as well as an ethical sense..)

            5. TheMeerkat

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              If you want responsibility, book a hotel

          2. rcxb Bronze badge

            Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

            > even if AirBnB held regular inspections of every room, the guy puts in an unmodified router for the inspection, then replaces it with the dodgy one when they leave

            That's why you have unannounced randomly timed inspections, even with the inspector making a reservation and staying as a paid guest.

            1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              The cost of carrying out inspections or surprise visits on every BnB place would be completely prohibitive. There are millions of listings

              1. rcxb Bronze badge

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                > The cost of carrying out inspections or surprise visits on every BnB place would be completely prohibitive. There are millions of listings

                That's not how inspections work, for anything. You inspect a small percentage, at random. Those who are cheating will have no way of knowing if or when an inspector will show up and catch them. The penalties just need to be harsh enough to discourage playing the odds.

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                BnB place would be completely prohibitive

                It's called "the cost of doing business". If they can't afford it, then they should close.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

            AirBNB can be just as accountable as any other hotel entity.

            If you have a member of staff in a hotel swapping out clock radios with cam versions. You'd hold the Hotel accountable for the actions of their employed staff, even if it were 3rd party agency staff from a cleaning company. You wouldn't just shrug and say " there's no way [we] can really know" what our staff do...

            AirBNB have ultimate responsibility for the service to the customer. They are the service provider to that customer, and the property owner provides the service to AirBNB..

            It is clearly up to AirBNB to enforce the quality of the product they purchase and resell.

            Simple mystery shopping inspections by "woman of a certain demographic" would detect this.

            1. Stork Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              No. We are not on Airbnb but on Booking.com which should be similar enough for this purpose.

              The contract is between guest and host.

              The listing site or agent is responsible for making a reasonable effort to ensure the host is legal, e.g. by checking against public registers.

            2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              "

              If you have a member of staff in a hotel swapping out clock radios with cam versions. You'd hold the Hotel accountable for the actions of their employed staff

              "

              Fine ... but what if it was a previous guest who had planted the bug? Is the hotel still responsible? Do hotels have a duty to perform a complete bug-sweep before a new guest takes a room?

            3. SundogUK

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              They don't "...purchase and resell." They act as agents. Yellow pages can't be sued because they list a dodgy plumber...

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

            This is not that difficult. A host should be required to post a bond that is subject to forfeiture if terms are violated. Terms prohibit covert video surveillance of guests.

            No, it's not foolproof, and there is a cost, but they compete with hotels that have responsibilities and liabilities with associated costs. AirBnB doesn't want to compete at that level and their business model depends on customers not appreciating the difference.

        2. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

          Quite. This "sharing economy" lark is simply a mechanism to get around the costs that real-world businesses have to incur to meet the reasonable expectations of real-world consumers. This twilight world of nebulous intermediaries who claim to have very little legal responsibility for the services they merely appear to provide needs to be stamped out.

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

            No, it doesn't need to be stamped out. It just needs to be priced accordingly - which airbnb often is. I took a place in Manchester a few months ago : a typical student house with a tiny bedroom and a kitchen sink full of washing up. Totally unacceptable by hotel standards but perfect for my needs and priced to match.

            If I get what I pay for , I don't care if someone doesn't clean the bathroom or takes pictures of me (actually, I feel sorry for them. they must be pretty desperate and if it cheers them up to watch a middle-aged unhealthy man go to bed on his own, good luck to them).

            Caveat emptor, or course. But it's my choice, not the choice of public authorities and hotel owners.

            1. slartybartfast

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              'I don't care if someone doesn't clean the bathroom or takes pictures of me'

              You might not care if they take pictures (or video) of you but I'm sure plenty of people, especially women will feel completely violated, especially as they are paying that person to stay in their house.. These pictures or video footage could end up on the internet for other like-minded pathetic perves to ogle over and post disgusting comments. No business providing accommodation should let people stay in houses with this sort of risk.

              1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                "

                You might not care if they take pictures (or video) of you but I'm sure plenty of people, especially women will feel completely violated

                "

                In which case they should either take their own steps to inspect the property or use more expensive options.

                1. Tomato Krill

                  Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                  Yes we could dispense with a lot of law that way actually couldn't we? In fact you might be kn to something, let's replace law with your free market based approach

                  Dont want to get attacked walking home from a night out? Take your own steps to protect yourself. Learn martial arts and take a weapon!

                  Thst way if a street is dangerous then the market will react accordingly and people will make a choice to use the other, not deadly street. Then the deadly street will have to improve to win walkers back.

                  Its beautifully simple, can't believe nobody already thought of it

                  1. Richocet

                    Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                    I think Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo use this type of approach.

                    Can't wait till all the free-market / deregulator / libertarians migrate there to live in their idealistic utopia.

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                You might not care if they take pictures

                Well - when you consider that it's illegal (especially now the upskirting laws have come in in the UK[1]) it's not a matter of your personal preference but law..

                [1] And I'm sure that most jurisdictions have some sort of invasion of privacy laws.

            2. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              You can see the dirty dishes in the sink and react accordingly. Finding a spy camera might not be so easy.

            3. jospanner

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              Do you have kids?

            4. Rob Moir

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              “If I get what I pay for , I don't care if someone doesn't clean the bathroom or takes pictures of me”

              Ah that’s ok then. I’ll be sure to let all the people who *do* mind know that it’s ok because you don’t mind.

              1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                "

                I’ll be sure to let all the people who *do* mind know that it’s ok because you don’t mind.

                "

                No, just tell them not to take accommodation where that is a significant risk.

              2. SundogUK

                Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

                Christ, the register is full of snowflakes these days.

                If you don't like the risk, don't use the service.

            5. 's water music Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              downvoted because it is only your choice if the listing includes 'creepy perv cam in the bedroom' in the list of amenities

          2. SundogUK

            Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

            AirBnB are not providing the service. They are agents. How difficult is this to understand? If you don't like it, don't use it.

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

              Just like Uber, they ARE providing the service. How difficult is THAT to understand? They are totally responsible for their 'subcontractors'' actions.

      2. NATTtrash

        Re: Airbnb....

        I agree with sabroni; why not? This is an argument I run into continuously, which is extremely convenient for "services", but issues of "customers" (the ones paying the bill) only get resolved by the grace of said services it seems. Kind of fed up about that.

        And let's be honest, that is one of the grips of the ongoing digitalisation of a lot of stuff of course. Since in this case for example, Airbnb offers something, makes money with it, but never has "feet on the ground" but does it from somewhere on the other side of the world, you have no person to communicate with really. Think about it: hotel with "noisy neighbour? Go to Reception, talk to somebody, they are on it, or maybe you get a new room. Noisy Airbnb neighbour? "Could you put it in an email please?" And the money is always already gone and the customer has to jump through hoops to get it back (if ever). And that, together with the more and more expanding MITM principle of services, this will get only worse...

        Not so nice news on a, let's say for example, FaceBook news wire? Sorry, we are just a service...

        Rubbish article on Ebay/ Amazon? Sorry, please refer to the "original" vendor.

        Or even...

        Person: I'd like to report this crime... Police: Ah, OK, can you please fill out our online form?

        Person: I'd like to complain about this/ that issue? Bank: Ah, can you send our complain to support@yourbank.com? We will send you an automated email with a ticket number and get back to you (when we feel like it)!

        </old git dipping feather in ink>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Airbnb....

          Bit like the car that I see actively used every day with no MOT. Reported it to council, told to report to police. Reported to them, told to call their 101 number. I've done that before and been on hold for over an hour.

          The ticket on their site they allow you to also report said lack of MOT still hasn't been actioned and the car is still actively being driven. DVLA also aren't interested!

          It's had no MOT for 6 months, could that be because the last but one failed and they know it will fail again and don't want to pay up? When that crashes and burns will the police be responsible for not acting on the tip off?

          Maybe over the top but yeah, this automated shit is somewhat annoying. What's the point of a £1k fine when you're not going to action it on a car that's had no MOT for 6 months.

          1. JohnMurray

            Re: Airbnb....

            No points.

            £100 FPT.

            No Incentive.

          2. Brangdon

            Re: MOT

            It's possible the driver doesn't know the MOT is failed, if nobody has told them. DVLA no longer send out reminders, unless you register for them explicitly.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: MOT

              It's the drivers responsability to ensure the vehicle is legal before they set of on each and every journey.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: MOT

                >It's the drivers responsability to ensure the vehicle is legal before they set of on each and every journey.

                Checked the software in your car's engine management system recently - to make sure it isn't reporting optimistic values in EPA tests ?

              2. Caver_Dave
                Angel

                Re: MOT

                It really pisses off the sales droid when I check the tread depth on all the tyres (including the spare), the lights, water, oil, wipers, bodywork and mirrors before accepting the hire car - I check the brakes in their car park before taking the car onto the road (because they never give you the keys before you sign the contract!)

                I point out that it is me that is going to get the 3 points and up to £2,500 fine if the car is not roadworthy.

                It's amazing how "American style customer care" (their advertising slogan) suddenly becomes "Anglo Saxon swearing" when the droid is waiting for me in the rain :-)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: MOT

                  Wow, almost like the "droid" is an actual living, breathing person who is cold wet and irritated. There's nothing particularly wrong with wanting to check your car over, but it sounds like you're also making some poor sod on minimum wage miserable and letting it make you feel like you're sticking it to the man

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge

                    Re: MOT

                    Wow, almost like the "droid" is an actual living, breathing person who is cold wet and irritated.

                    Well.. If there's a fault with the car that causes me to crash into his office when I am returning it, he may not be a "living, breathing person" any more. Better I give an unknown car a good check over before I drive it.

                    I'll happily drive a car that pulls to the left under heavy braking if I know it, because I can do a few parking-lot runs and automatically compensate for it. If I have time I may even be able to fix it for them, for a discount.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Airbnb....

            Bit like the car that I see actively used every day with no MOT.

            Since there are no indicators of tax nor MOT on any cars these days (and never were for MOT), I assume you have sen this car, and then put its number plate in to the online check, just to see what other people are up to.

            I think you might be my neighbour.

          4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Airbnb....

            "Reported to them, told to call their 101 number"

            So what was your initial report on? 999? at the counter at the station? stopped random cop in street?

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Airbnb....

              why the thumb down? I'n genuinely curious about the portfolio of methods of "reporting stuff to the cops"

              Especially methods that cant handle the transfer of a 7 digit numberplate to a part of the force that can deal with it.

              Was it a message in a bottle? well , no it cant be because there was a reply (ring 101) the mind truly boggles how this initial report was made.

              was it by email perhaps? if so whats the point of even having that channel if the simplest message on earth is met with "ring 101"

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Hurrah for incompetence

            Well Im glad the DVLA/etc are useless.

            I drove my un-MOTd car every day for 6 months, due to my own administrative incompetence, and nothing happened.

            1. YetAnotherLocksmith Bronze badge

              Re: Hurrah for incompetence

              I currently agree, because I failed to get my timings correct, and missed the end of my MOT, and realised a week late!

              All sorted now, but a reminder would be useful.

              1. Tomato Krill

                Re: Hurrah for incompetence

                Dvsa offer just such a thing, I was in my mot cert last week. Opt in only, I assume because posting letters would be a bit 1980s and they therefore need an email or SMS address

                Also, thread drift much?

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Airbnb....

            "Bit like the car that I see actively used every day with no MOT. "

            The DVLA have all the data they need as to whether a given vehicle has had an MOT and hasn't got a SORN (assuming it's not using false number plates) so this points to probable under-funding of whoever is responsible for enforcement of the law regarding MOTs.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re:he DVLA have all the data they need

              well , if they cant make money out of a list of people who owe them money ......

              people who they have names and address for ......

          7. Kiwi Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Airbnb....

            It's had no MOT for 6 months, could that be because the last but one failed and they know it will fail again and don't want to pay up? When that crashes and burns will the police be responsible for not acting on the tip off?

            Crazy idea I know but..... What would happen if you were to politely talk to the person and offer to help them get it resolved if there's some decent reason they can't do it for themselves?

            Most safety things on cars aren't that hard to resolve. Car wreckers sell decent 2nd hand tyres (at least round these parts) that might only last a season but only cost a tenner instead of a month's grub, electrical faults generally are simple to locate and fix (though some can be a prick).

            Never know, you might get a good enduring friendship out of it. Or you might prevent a situation where you're the innocent victim in the crash dealing with life-changing injuries.

            (Not every one is worth talking to, and not everyone can manage to talk in the right manner, use your own judgement)

          8. swampdog
            Unhappy

            Re: Airbnb....& car

            Imagine the situation when a perfectly legal car is abandoned outside your house. I had to wait 5 'n' half months before not even getting to your problem because the bastard drove the vehicle away on the last day of legality!

          9. bazza Silver badge

            Re: Airbnb....

            There's half a chance that the number plate is false. Makes tracking down the driver quite hard.

            There is reason to be dissatisfied with flagrant breaches of things like motoring laws that get ignored by the cops. For example there's a trend these days for not displaying a front number plate here in the UK. It's a £1000 fine, yet I've heard of people who do this who have been in accidents where the police attended, but they couldn't care less. Too much paper work.

        2. SundogUK

          Re: Airbnb....

          "Airbnb offers something"

          Airbnb offers to act as an agent, you then contract with the provider. IT IS UP TO YOU TO DETERMINE IF YOU TRUST THE PROVIDER.

      3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Airbnb....

        Of course they cannot be held responsible for people doing things like this.

        They can, however, be held responsible for their own actions (or lack thereof).

        So, apparently, the official corporate response in cases like this is:

        First report: "Sorry, there's nothing we can do."

        When it hits Social Media: "Our initial response did not meet our high corporate standards.", and bounce the listing.

        Repeat the next time it happens...while continuing to collect as much money as possible in the meantime

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Airbnb....

        Of course they can and that’s easy to prove: a real hotel would held responsible.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Airbnb....

          "

          a real hotel would held responsible.

          "

          I'm not so sure about that, unless it was a hotel employee who did it.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Airbnb....

        It's wonderful how the gig economy winners can shed all negative externalities that traditional economy employers have to deal with, like being responsible for their employees' actions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Airbnb....

          This is way I'm amused at the notion that Uber is developing self-driving cars ostensibly to be more competitive. I wonder how depreciating their own capital equipment will affect their already sorry income and expense reports.

          1. SundogUK

            Re: Airbnb....

            Self driving cars will kill Uber (why pay someone else when you can get your own car to pick you up from the airport?) but we are decades away from them being a reality.

        2. SundogUK

          Re: Airbnb....

          Because they're not employees, maybe?

      6. Tomato Krill

        Re: Airbnb....

        Devils advocate on the point of reacting quickly to reports:

        This sort of reaction can have the unintended consequence of opening a DoS opportunity for rivals. Amazon for example (another basically unregulated free for all, subject only to the rules of the marketplace itself which a monster private commercial entity) is awash with tales of sellers being shut down through vindictive false reports made by competitors.

        That's why they cant kick people off based on merely reports. Criminal prosecutions of course are another matter!

      7. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Airbnb....

        To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

        Maybe not legally, but they have an ethical duty of care to ensure that people who books rooms via their service do not have their privacy and security violated.

        But actually doing anything other than passively taking money would mean lower profits so it doesn't get done.

        1. SundogUK

          Re: Airbnb....

          "but they have an ethical duty of care"

          No they don't. As has been said, caveat emptor.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Airbnb....

      Airbnb said it was taking down the listing, said that its "original handling of this incident did not meet the high standards we set for ourselves"

      No doubt similar standards that companies such as Über or Boeing set.

  2. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    AirBnB has a great track record - of saying "we take XXXX very seriously" - and doing bugger-all to enforce whatever XXXX might be.

    Fire Regulations are a very good example. Regular hotels and B&Bs have to spend £Ks on Fire Service approved equipment, with regular checks of interlinked fire alarms. What does AirBnB recommend to its hosts? One poxy single alarm that doesn't meet UK fire regs standards. Lower standards and lower prices that undercut people who do bother about their guests.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Some people would argue....

      To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this

      1. 0laf Silver badge

        Re: Some people would argue....

        Team member was evicted from an AirBnB flat in New York earlier this year. She didn't realise it is illegal to sublet in this way in New York. AirBnB appears to be unaware as well since they still have plenty of listing for this despite it being a well known and reported issue.

        So they are quite capable of ignoring thing that are not only bad but obvious as well.

        1. Oh Matron!

          Re: Some people would argue....

          This appears to be the Modus Operandi of most startups / unicorns / rainbows / etc, etc.

          Do whatever you can to corner the market, taking the fines on the chin, because, by the time people have caught on, you ARE the market

          Fines don't work. Porsche has just been hit with a fine for the emissions cheating: It will dent their balance sheet, but won't affect them at all.

          Govts need to wake up and take proper punitive measures that actually work

          1. ITS Retired
            Holmes

            Re: Some people would argue....

            "Govts need to wake up and take proper punitive measures that actually work"

            With the revolving doors between government and corporations, when will might that be?

            1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
              Big Brother

              Re: Some people would argue....

              > With the revolving doors between government and corporations, when will might that be?

              Come the revolution, brother. Come the revolution.

              [This message brought to you by Empty-Threats-Я-Us Corp., incorporated in the state of Delaware.]

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Some people would argue....

                > With the revolving doors between government and corporations, when will might that be?

                Come the revolution, brother. Come the revolution.

                Like he said...

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Some people would argue....

            Fines are appropriate when a company unintentionally violates the law (through being incompetent or whatever). When a company knowingly and intentionally violates the law, prosecution of the individuals who decided to do that, combined with a revocation of the company's article of incorporation and/or business licenses seems appropriate.

            1. YetAnotherLocksmith Bronze badge

              Re: Some people would argue....

              Exactly correct.

              The buck stops with the executives who vote themselves a pay rise, while the P45 stops with the whistle-blower, though. And that needs to change.

          3. rskurat

            Re: Some people would argue....

            the entire point to the existence of corporations is the evasion of responsibility

        2. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: Some people would argue....

          In this case AirBnB isn't the party doing the subletting. The person who put the add for the property on airBnB is the party doing the subletting.

          It's like a flea market (or any other convention-type event). The organisers of the flea-market sells stall space to vendors/exhibitors, not goods/products to consumers. The vendors who purchase the stall space from the organisers are the ones who sell product to consumers. If a torch vendor X sells at the flea market doesn't work, the customer doesn't go to the flea market organisers for warranty repair/refund/replacement, they have to find the vendor who sold it to them to conduct the warranty return.

          If, however, the organisers get a lot of complaints about faulty/innapropriate goods supplied by a

          specific vendor, or other bad reports about the vendor (being difficult about accepting warranty issues for example), then the flea-market organisers should blacklist that vendor from their current and future events.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Some people would argue....

            like a flea market (or any other convention-type event). The organisers of the flea-market sells stall space to vendors/exhibitors, not goods/products to consumers. The vendors who purchase the stall space from the organisers are the ones who sell product to consumers. If a torch vendor X sells at the flea market doesn't work, the customer doesn't go to the flea market organisers for warranty repair/refund/replacement, they have to find the vendor who sold it to them to conduct the warranty return.

            I actually do sell at flea markets. The contract a vendor signs specifically forbids certain classes of merchandise like trademark infringement or other counterfeit goods and the penalties if caught just displaying such are immediate expulsion and banning. I once saw a purse vendor being escorted out in handcuffs and their stall being packed up by law enforcement. I was busy with my own stall and never got the whole story, but there is some enforcement on some things.

            1. eldakka Silver badge

              Re: Some people would argue....

              I once saw a purse vendor being escorted out in handcuffs and their stall being packed up by law enforcement.

              Exactly.. The stall vendor was led out in handcuffs, not the flea-market organisers. In our case of AirBnB, this means the person illegally subletting the property (the stall vendor) through AirBnB is the one who should be prosecuted, not AirBnB (the flea-market organiser).

            2. SundogUK

              Re: Some people would argue....

              The salient point being: the vendor got busted for doing something illegal; the flea market management walked. As it should be.

          2. josephharris

            Re: Some people would argue....

            There is a considerable difference between renting space, and taking commission relating to the supply of a service. Such an agent is then the intermediary, and must have some responsibility to the service provided. A "nod and a wink" is hardly sufficient for a company with the privilege of limited liability. Of course no one reads Terms and Conditions, so whether they are reasonable becomes a legal issue.

            There are quite a few laws i n the UK still, dealing with this. the laws of contract, for example. Unfortunately there seems serious lack of monitoring and enforcement.

            1. SundogUK

              Re: Some people would argue....

              "There is a considerable difference between renting space, and taking commission relating to the supply of a service."

              No there isn't. Economically speaking, it is all just 'rent'.

          3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Some people would argue....

            In this case AirBnB isn't the party doing the subletting

            However, AirBnB are knowingly assisting an offender - it's can't be that hard to check the rental zip code and realise that, unless the renter is the owner, they are not allowed to enter a sub-let agreement.

            So, even if the action is to pop up a box that says "you must prove you are the owner as properties in your zipcode are not allowed to be sublet by a tenant" it would be a start.

            But again, that would add real-world complexity and cost to the process which might damage profitability and (potentially) open up AirBnB to action elsewhere when they don't do something similar in other jurisdictions so it ain't gonna happen.

        3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Some people would argue....

          To be fair I've also heard of people who rented out their Dutch property long term, without reading their mortgage, which specifically says you can't do this.

          Then when the tenant stops paying rent, the eviction procedures also get you foreclosed on.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Some people would argue....

        Have a bit of a schizophrenic day, sabroni ?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Have a bit of a schizophrenic day, sabroni?

          No, just re-using someone's comment in a different context to highlight how daft it is.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Some people would argue....

        "To be fair to AirBnB I don't think they can be held responsible for people doing this"

        Yes, they can be and should be. Whether they can meet that responsibility s another matter. If they can't it should be the end of them. It's as simple as that.

        1. hj

          Re: Some people would argue....

          I understand where you're coming from, but isn't it also a case of: you get what you pay for? People prefer to pay little, so the service they get is just as much... I for one, accept those risks and happily book with them.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Some people would argue....

            Regulation on providers of services exists to protect customers. Genuine businesses comply with that. Compliance is a cost of doing business. Undercutting by non-compliance puts everyone at risk by driving out genuine businesses who try to offer legitimate low-cost provision.

            1. dfsmith

              Re: Some people would argue....

              It seems you are arguing that regulation hurts genuine businesses. I always though it was the other way around: businesses ensure that regulations are designed to protect their business model and deny competitors entry to the market.

              1. jospanner

                Re: Some people would argue....

                Regulation protects the customer, because believe it or not, your profit is not the be-all-and-end-all.

                If it was up to the market, we'd still have child labour and workhouses.

                1. SundogUK

                  Re: Some people would argue....

                  "If it was up to the market, we'd still have child labour and workhouses."

                  No we wouldn't. I wouldn't buy from a company run that way and I suspect you wouldn't either. Nor would pretty much the entire 1st world.

                  It's a straw man argument proposed by Marxists.

                  1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

                    Re: Some people would argue....

                    @SundogUK - we do have child labour, we do have workhouses and we still have slavery. Because they are all still jolly profitable. Child labour is difficult to eradicate in places where "you don't work, you don't eat" isn't metaphorical and there is a limited social safety net.

                    Turns out people still buy cheap clothes and food, and don't care about the consequences. Half the time you can't even tell, the supply chain has mixed legitimate and illegal goods and inspecting your Bangladashi subcontractors temp hires to ensure they are all over 15, at the same time as you ensure the cotton has only been harvested by adults.

                    "I wouldn't buy from a company run that way and I suspect you wouldn't either."

                    I suspect that if we went through your annual consumption, you would find that you in fact do purchase goods from companies that violate your ethical lines. Even the companies that make a huge effort to keep their supply lines clean run into issues, and most simply don't bother. Just give themselves plausible deniability, then take the moral high ground....

            2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Some people would argue....

              Regulation on providers of services exists to protect customers. Genuine businesses comply with that. Compliance is a cost of doing business. Undercutting by non-compliance puts everyone at risk by driving out genuine businesses who try to offer legitimate low-cost provision.

              To take this to the logical conclusion:

              Is the phone book responsible for all goods and services listed inside it?

              thats all AirBnB is , to me at least - a list of vendors

        2. SundogUK

          Re: Some people would argue....

          "Yes, they can be and should be,"

          Why? They have done no wrong. They offer a service connecting people who want short term accommodation with people who have short term accommodation available. The parties involved have the contract, not AirBnB.

      4. Tomato Krill

        Re: Some people would argue....

        I think a bulk order of whoosh is in order for the downvoters who haven't followed this thread correctly...

        Though you might want to invest in a </sarcasm> tag next time for clarity...

    2. Alistair Silver badge

      "AirBnB has a great track record - of saying "we take XXXX very seriously" - and doing bugger-all to enforce whatever XXXX might be."

      I'm pretty sure the recorded airbnb guests would take XXXX seriously. Especially when it shows up on t'interwebs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and don't forget...

      "...is our highest priority..."

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Pay less and take your chances. It's up to the punters do they want to risk their lives staying in an unsafe death trap because it's a bit cheaper than a fire safety checked hotel. As for hidden cameras, there's enough media stories about them in hotels as well - google Erin Andrews (NSFW) as an example.

    1. John H Woods

      Erin Andrews

      IIRC that was a reverse optics device through the door security viewer, not hidden in the room.

    2. O RLY

      Andrews

      Erin Andrews sued the hotel chain, Marriott, and was awarded $55 million in judgements. Her stalker, the man who filmed her, was sent to prison.

      It would be much harder to earn justice against an entity like an Airbnb-booked grey market short term rental host.

      1. SundogUK

        Re: Andrews

        "It would be much harder to earn justice..." AirBnB are not at fault and could not be sued. The contract is with the provider and, as in this case, he got busted.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Big disconnect

    This airbnb thing is really a disaster waiting to happen. Does an airbnb representative visit the properties to ensure that it meets current local standards? In the end it seems more like AirPimp than anything else. Sorry you didn't like the girl we sent... too bad we got your cash. It seems that only when they are called out on news outlets and social media to think to do something right. I'll never stay at one. People are strange... don't give them the chance.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Big disconnect

      I have used AirBnB, I have never been disappointed. I've met with some interesting people like that. We don't stay friends or anything, this is not a meeting service, but I'm always ready for an interesting conversation.

      Of course, you need to choose carefully and be wary when on-site for any bad surprises, but I have never had any bad surprises so far.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Big disconnect

        "I have never had any bad surprises so far."

        How closely have you looked? Not just for nasties like hidden cameras but also to see if fire regulations are met. The latter could provide a surprise you'll not come back to tell us about.

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Big disconnect

          Agreed, for eg to qualify for letting a multi-occupancy property (think student group flat) there must for eg be hard wired smoke AND incident heat detectors (can't trust students to change batteries or not nick them for other purposes). Ditto such alarms in hotels and small B&B's. So why not Air BnB lets?

          That is just one issue.

        2. Chris 69

          Re: Big disconnect

          I've also been very pleasantly surprised by good Airbnb places in several countries.

          As for hotels... Well this week I visited one that was such a filthy shit-hole, and broke multiple fire regulations by propping open fire doors, not locking "keep locked" doors, storing clutter in fire corridors and having a fire exit that was capable of being locked from the outside!

          I didn't stay and I'm working on getting my money back before getting them shut down, hung, drawn and quartered.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Big disconnect

        While I have had several nasty AirBnB surprises.

        My favourite so far was a bathroom with a plain-glass door and plain glass shower cubicle. Not at all creepy, no...

        That place also sold us a "twin" that was in fact a double bed, which was not quite what my friend and I had in mind. We like each other a lot, but you know...

    2. SundogUK

      Re: Big disconnect

      If you don't like how AirBnB's service works, don't use it. If you expect the universe to accommodate your every desire, I have a bridge to sell you.

      1. Andre Carneiro

        Re: Big disconnect

        Don’t be an idiot

  5. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Chinese Law

    21 days inside will only be the start, the hosts 'social credit' will also have taken a really big knock, some nice things will not be available to him for a very long time. If he's caught doing anything naughty again his next punishment will likely be severe, quite a difference from the recent Irish case.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/china-social-credit-system-punishments-and-rewards-explained-2018-4

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Wellyboot - Re: Chinese Law

      Onto the other hand, the Irish law is not quite up to the expectations. See, sometimes a good communist regime has clear advantage over a democratic one.

      As one (in)famous politician in my native country used to say, it's better to have a sane dictatorship than to have an ailing democracy.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: @Wellyboot - Chinese Law

        it's better to have a sane dictatorship

        The problem with those is that they very rarely stay that way (especially on historical timescales - you might get a Vespasian followed by a Domitian[1]..).

        In fact, history is littered with examples of 'good' autocratic rulers being followed by very, very bad ones.

        [1] Yes - I know he was followed by Titus but he didn't last very long (a process possibly hastened by Domitian)

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. ISYS
    WTF?

    No shit!

    "Airbnb's official policy is that hidden cameras are prohibited" - they really have to state this?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: No shit!

      Apparently, they do. And, more than likely, they're going to have to repeat it.

      And there will still be morons that won't listen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No shit!

        And there will be morons who think this stuff doesn't also happen with regular hotels.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: No shit!

      What are the rules on camera's that aren't hidden?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: No shit!

        AirBnB has said explicitly that surveillance cameras are perfectly acceptable as long as their existence is disclosed.

    3. Brangdon

      Re: No shit!

      I gather cameras are allowed provided they are documented. It's considered reasonable for the owner to want to check the customer hasn't trashed the living room without making a visit. I gather the Irish issue was ignored because it was considered a case of failing to document rather than hiding a camera.

  7. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Pornhub

    What we need now is a search function in Pornhub to find the room offered in AirBnB.

    1. Flywheel Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Pornhub

      There's already 101 videos there (so I'm told) if you search for AirBNB. No category as yet though..

      *cough*

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Detecting hidden cameras?

    Any tips on how to detect hidden devices? Beyond looking out for suspicious fittings or holes that might hide a lens, what's a good way to check the network?

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Detecting hidden cameras?

      Depending on the type of camera It may not even be detectable on the network, could be storing video on an SD card which the owner retrieves later. If you look on websites like Aliexpress you can see they can be bought fitted hidden in clocks, smoke detectors, lightbulbs. Or you can buy just the camera unit and hide one yourself inside something that someone would be unlikely to pay much attention to.

      We hid one in our office inside a ring binder on a shelf after we had a series of thefts from peoples desks to try and catch the culprits.

      If you are paranoid about it then either don't stay in any rented properties or if that isn't an option then consider you could be being watched and take appropriate action, such as not to get fully naked in the room.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Detecting hidden cameras?

      Unplug the wifi-router in your room, if you can?

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Detecting hidden cameras?

      One thing to do, and what I think was done in the Ireland case, is to run an NMap scan on the WiFi network and look at the list of devices. Those that are not obviously there could be dodgy. This is well and good, but it doesn't work against many things and is therefore limited. If the device is recording locally, it cannot be found by any network investigation. If the host is intelligent enough, a network-connected camera would be firewalled from any ability to scan for it, too. But at least the tool is there to catch a subset of available ways to install a camera. My guess is that the first time one finds a camera, one stops using that service for housing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Detecting hidden cameras?

      Turn all the lights off, close the curtains and shine a torch round the room. Check everything small and shiny that reflects back.

      Or if you have the available tech. A night vision camera and an IR light. Lenses show up as bright white dots.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Detecting hidden cameras?

        Years back was rather amused to notice that a webcam or camcorder would detect bursts of IR light from a remote control when operated.

        So darken room (Light sensor triggered) & do a sweep with phone camera to see any bright white spots manifest.

        Night vision googles wearing icon selected (It was almost the Fanboi\Alien).

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Detecting hidden cameras?

        "A night vision camera and an IR light."

        Suitable cameras and IR flashlights are available very inexpensively from all the usual suspects (Amazon, eBay, etc.).

        But I think that if you're so concerned that buying such gear for routine use is appealing to you, it would be better to stop using the likes AirBnB entirely.

  9. big_D Silver badge

    Scan complete

    We stayed in a holiday flat in Germany a few weeks back. The first things I did were:

    * attach a controlled device to the Wi-Fi

    * scan the internal network for active IPs

    * perform a port-scan of the network

    * perform a security check of the internet connection (was there a MITM server somewhere capturing traffic or handing out dud certificates)

    * perform a visual check of the place for hidden cameras.

    I am happy to report that there was absolutely nothing suspicious in the flat. It was run by a very nice couple who had thought of pretty much everything; down to fresh eggs (from their farm), home made paté and home made apple juice, chocolates on the bed and a simple tablet with links to local attractions anchored to the home page.

    But it was privately rented, not over Airbnb.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Scan complete

      Just tell me how you are going to find a camera on another network? It isn't that difficult to spit the network and make only one part accessible to anybody unaware of the the remaining part(s). That will leave you with the visual check and that has its own problems.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You only catch the idiots

    If I were to ever setup and Airbnb or anything like that you can guarantee that you will be filmed from at least six angles in every room. I will let you have access to the internet through a totally separate clean and secure connection, while all my security and cameras will be on a separate secured, and encrypted, network. I will even install some obvious fake cameras and point them out, show you the empty insides, tell you how it is just for show.

    Anon because, well, I do have some extra space...

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: You only catch the idiots

      I will even install some obvious fake cameras and point them out, show you the empty insides, tell you how it is just for show.

      How about the very real security camera, to which the guest even will have acces, that points to the entrance?

  11. imanidiot Silver badge
    WTF?

    That doesn't seem right

    In short, it's worth being a little paranoid if you are staying in a stranger's house. Best advice: scan the house network for anything unusual and check or unplug any device in the bedroom. ® Don't

    TFTFY

  12. JohnMurray

    20 days....in Blighty it would have started at 6 months....

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      If that's the case and if given a choice, I'd take the 6 months at HRM's lockup than 20 days in a Chinese one.

  13. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Meh

    Isn't this "news" really an advert for the "security researcher" ?

    Sorry, but my BS detector hasn't stopped jumping at the amazing coincidence that a top-level perv just happened to let to a top level security expert ...

    All of which said, it's a good story to remind all folk to TAKE CARE OUT THERE.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Isn't this "news" really an advert for the "security researcher" ?

      Really? There are many security researchers, and they have to stay somewhere, especially if they're attending security conferences or going on holidays. If they do that enough, eventually one of them finds a camera. They're also more likely to look for one and have the skills to identify places where one could be. Why is it so unlikely in your mind?

    2. Brangdon

      Re: Isn't this "news" really an advert for the "security researcher" ?

      The coincidence is only amazing if such cameras are rare. They may be less rare than you expect. Most people don't find them.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Isn't this "news" really an advert for the "security researcher" ?

      Why? Coincidences happen all the time.

  14. Simple Simon

    What’s with the hate?

    What’s with the hating on AirBnB, guys?

    We own and run a couple of holiday lets in major UK city centre. We use AirBnB as just another listings site. Our properties are fully compliant with local regulations - for example, wired and interlinked smoke and heat detectors, fire fighting equipment, and regular gas and electricity inspections, etc. They’re properly insured, and we pay all our taxes.

    And yes, we supply WiFi - but with enterprise grade kit. It’s WPA protected, with a captive portal to force acceptance of simple Ts and Cs. And, all connecting clients are segregated and have bandwidth limitations for QoS.

    And no, we don’t have any cameras installed.

    Not everyone is a crook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What’s with the hate?

      "And no, we don’t have any cameras installed."

      Smart. Only deploy them when you need to.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What’s with the hate?

      Can't speak for others, but AirBnB - like Uber - have created a niche where they are quite happy to siphon of the money, and just as unhappy when they are expected to earn it.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: What’s with the hate?

      "Not everyone is a crook."

      True, but AirBnB is notoriously bad at dealing with the ones who are, so the only safe thing to do is to assume that anybody listed in AirBnB is shady.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What’s with the hate?

      Well, living near just such a city centre I'm painfully aware of the shortage of longer-term rental property in the area, and you're really just adding to the problem with that. In addition, the growing number of peak-season lets scattered around residential areas has led to it becoming a fairly unpleasant area to live for a good chunk of the year. Turns out a lot of the airbnb types don't care in the slightest that there are people in the area that have to be up and at work in the morning.

      So in summary, no, nothing that you are doing is actually criminal, but you're still not going on my christmas card list

    5. SundogUK

      Re: What’s with the hate?

      You're responding to a bunch of snowflake Marxists who want the government to take ownership of your business and protect them from 'teh evul capitalists'.

      Ignore them.

  15. Bandikoto
    Joke

    There are FOUR lights!

    Didn't there used to be a Picard-as-borg icon? Anyway, something something Gul Madred something.

    1. A Nonny Moose

      Re: There are FOUR lights!

      During the interview the suspect only made one comment, repeatedly.

      Actually, come to think of it, I imagine the Chinese police interview techniques aren't far off of the Cardassians.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: There are FOUR lights!

        Chinese police interview techniques aren't far off of the Cardassians

        Much like Japan: "if we've arrested you, you must be guilty" - they have something like a 98% conviction rate and I'm sure that their policing techniques are not *that* far in advance of ours..

  16. elDog

    Unless you can detect video/still and audio recorders you can't be sure

    There are other means of collecting video/audio than using wifi or rfi or bluetooth such as physical device recording to be analysed later.

    Over Internet Protocol (IP) the devices can use UDP and not respond to any enquiry/response packets.

    Powerline networking may be an easy way to circumvent the detectors.

  17. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Airbed-N-bugs

    Pfft.. put it in the wifi router.

    Just one more place to check for bed bugs.

  18. Marty McFly
    WTF?

    Becoming standard....

    I recently stayed at Wynn hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Alexa was in my room listening to everything. Not my device. I didn't configure it. Who else besides Amazon is it feeding the audio stream to??

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Becoming standard....

      I recently stayed at Wynn hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Alexa was in my room listening to everything. Not my device. I didn't configure it. Who else besides Amazon is it feeding the audio stream to??

      Nobody, once you unplug it.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Becoming standard....

        Nobody, once you unplug it.

        You seem to have mis-spelt "accidentally plugged my etherkiller device into it.."

        Remember, under certain circumstances Magic Smoke is a Good ThingTM

  19. a pressbutton

    Realistic pics below headline pls

    From the Article, the security researcher was a woman.

    The photo is of a bloke pointing and a woman going 'oooh'

    Would not normally point this out but it just feels not quite right in the context.

  20. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    Best advice: scan the house network for anything unusual and check or unplug any device in the bedroom. ®

    Before unplugging, and you're 100% sure of a hidden camera, give it a good view of Cap'n Browneye.

  21. Dr Gerard Bulger

    It think Brits will simply grin and bare it, assuming the rental could be is an Airbnb dogging experience.

  22. arctic_haze Silver badge

    My security advice for BnB customers

    1) Tear down the house

    2) If in doubt nuke it from orbit

    3) Rebuild it without using any outside contractors

    4) Have a nice stay

  23. SonOfDilbert
    Big Brother

    Previous guests

    Can the previous guests at those properties get some kind of recompense? I would feel really creeped out knowing that I had stayed at one of these places even though I wouldn't be 100% sure that the hidden cameras had been in place during my stay.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Previous guests

      I would feel really creeped out knowing that I had stayed at one of these places even though I wouldn't be 100% sure that the hidden cameras had been in place during my stay.

      Actually, that's not a bad way to screw over an AirBnB host. Unplug the router, fit a camera to it, then leave it.

      The host will eventually switch on the router and activate the camera, after you've left. Some future guest will find it or you can file an anonymous tip off. Possibly serious problems for the host with "wasn't me guv" being the only defence, however unlikely it'd sound in court.

  24. matt 83

    Always take a broom

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonlinear_junction_detector

    Won't help you find a camera hidden in an electronic device but it's still pretty cool.

  25. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Consider this ...

    You see an advert in the "Friday Ad" for a second-hand laptop. After purchase you find that the laptop has been fitted with spyware that streams its webcam. Would you hold Friday Ad responsible? How about if it was on eBay?

    A card on the notice board of your local corner shop or church advertises a room to let. Turns out the room has a hidden camera. Is the corner shop or church liable?

    Someone mentions to you that they are looking for someone to rent their spare room. You pass on the information to someone you know is looking for a cheap place to stay. Does that make *you* responsible for any camera in the room?

    I do not agree that services that merely advertise goods or services offered by 3rd parties have a duty to ensure that the goods/services they list are fit for purpose and do not have any nasties. To demand that they do so would cost the service so much that it would no longer be economically viable. Do you really think that AirBnB should regularly send someone out to Bangladesh on surprise visits to inspect the £2 per night hut being offered? A single visit per year would increase the rate astronomically making it completely non-viable.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Consider this ...

      "Would you hold Friday Ad responsible? How about if it was on eBay?"

      If I reported it to them and they continued to allow that seller to do business on their platform, I would certainly hold them responsible for failing to exercise their basic duty.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Consider this ...

        "

        If I reported it to them and they continued to allow that seller to do business on their platform, I would certainly hold them responsible for failing to exercise their basic duty.

        "

        That's a different question to the one most are debating - whether AirBnB should be held responsible in the first place. But to your point - how deeply should the company investigate in order to decide whether the report is true or just someone being malicious or trying to eliminate the competition?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Consider this ...

          "how deeply should the company investigate in order to decide whether the report is true or just someone being malicious or trying to eliminate the competition?"

          It depends on the severity of the complaint. Accusations of, say, AirBnB hosts installing spy cameras are extremely serious. AirBnB should at least send someone posing as a customer to stay in the place and check it out.

  26. briandavies

    They don't mess about in China do they! Caught red-handed - arrested - banged up for 20 days.

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