This family discovered a hidden camera in their Airbnb rental. Picture: Nealie Barker/Facebook
This family discovered a hidden camera in their Airbnb rental. Picture: Nealie Barker/Facebook

Creepy detail about family’s Airbnb photo

A KIWI family was shocked to discover a hidden camera in their Airbnb while on holiday in Ireland.

Nealie and Andrew Barker were travelling Europe with their five children and had checked into a number of different holiday rentals as a family.

But as the New Zealand Herald reported, the Barkers had never come across anything like this.

When they reached their accommodation for the night of March 3, the family trip took an odd turn.

Andrew, who is an IT consultant, had noticed something odd when connecting his phone to the house Wi-Fi. There was a device registered to the network called "IP Camera".

Out of curiosity, he was able to connect to the device, and to his and Nealie's horror, it provided a live video feed of the family.

"Andy hacked the live feed and called the owner to ask what the fudge sticks was going on," Nealie wrote on the family travel blog sixfortwelve.

"We were all watching ourselves on his mobile phone."

 

The family was able to watch themselves in the camera’s live feed. Picture: Nealie Barker/Facebook
The family was able to watch themselves in the camera’s live feed. Picture: Nealie Barker/Facebook

 

They found the camera overlooking the lounge and kitchen area of the Airbnb.

They had already paid in full for three days' stay at the accommodation but no longer felt comfortable in the house.

The Barker family felt they had taken a lot in their stride while travelling but this was shocking.

Nealie felt "immediately protective" about her family and children being on camera.

They made the decision to decamp to a nearby hotel instead.

They have since contacted both the owner of the property and Airbnb who leased it to them.

The owner initially denied any knowledge of the camera and hung up on their phone call, the family told Stuff.

But after persisting, he eventually admitted to having installed a camera to "protect his investment", although he would not tell the family if it was recording audio from the house, or if any video had been captured of the Barkers.

 

The camera in the family’s rental. Picture: Nealie Barker/Facebook
The camera in the family’s rental. Picture: Nealie Barker/Facebook

 

There was no mention of cameras in the property listing on Airbnb.

The process of getting a response from the rental website had been "hopeless" the Barkers said, and it was several weeks before they heard any outcome.

The letting website Airbnb has since apologised to the Barkers and issued a full refund.

Airbnb had since "removed this bad actor from (their) platform".

The website's privacy policy forbids cameras from being hidden and covering bedrooms or bathrooms. Those on the property for security must be properly disclosed before a reservation is made.

"In Ireland you have to let people know they are being filmed, it's the law. Also, I think, if you're not comfortable with people in your house, don't rent it out," said Nealie.

The Barkers said less tech savvy guests might not have noticed the camera.

It was in a private part of the house and could have easily captured images of children or intimate moments from previous people staying at the property.

It is unclear whether Airbnb has contacted previous guests of the property regarding concealed cameras.

The company has been contacted for further comment.

This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission


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