Airbnb host secretly recorded over 2,000 images of guests with his security camera, authorities said


Getty; Marianne Ayala/InsiderAirbnb host A. Jay Allee had over 2,000 images of guests on his personal devices, authorities said.Allee finished his prison sentence, but some former guests worry their images could leak online.Airbnb banned indoor security cameras in April, but hosts and guests have long debated their use.In the quiet Hill Country town of Comfort, Texas, Airbnb host A. Jay Allee welcomed guests to a rural retreat. Over the years, he received glowing reviews from vacationers and earned Superhost status.During that time, he also secretly recorded images of his guests, according to a CNN investigation into the use of cameras inside short-term rentals. In February 2023, he pleaded guilty to six counts of invasive visual recording in Kendall County District Court.Local police said that Allee accumulated over 2,000 images of guests in various stages of sleep and undress, even children. Some people photographed were even engaging in private sexual acts.The case is part of an ongoing debate about the appropriateness of cameras at short-term rentals, which include rooms and homes listed on Airbnb, Vrbo, and Airbnb banned indoor security cameras in April.Last year, before the ban, some hosts told Business Insider that they needed cameras for their own security and reassurance that their property wasn't being damaged. Some travelers, however, posted on social media that they feared hosts skirting rules to invade their privacy — even though, at that time, all security cameras had to be disclosed in the listings.Airbnb said that less than 0.1% of stays globally last year were involved in a safety report for any reason."When we do receive an allegation, we take appropriate, swift action, which can include removing hosts and listings that violate the policy," an Airbnb spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.Allee was released from jail this past February after a one-year sentence.His victims told CNN they felt shocked and spooked.David Wyzynajtys, who stayed at Allee's property in July 2021, told CNN that discovering the cameras inside the home was the "scariest moment" of his life. After changing his clothes for the evening, Wyzynajtys saw the hidden cameras plugged into the wall, pointed directly at the bed.Wyzynajtys and his girlfriend fled the property and drove 10 miles away, according to CNN. The next day, he contacted law enforcement after receiving what he described as a "negligent" response from Airbnb.Some of Allee's victims fear that sensitive images and videos of them could be shared on the internet.One woman, who told CNN she was recorded having sex with her husband at Allee's property, said "What is made into digital content is forever."Read the original article on Business Insider

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