How to find hidden cameras in your home share rental

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Monday, May 27, 2019
Hunting for hidden cameras in your home share rental
The ABC 7 I-Team investigates home-share scares and complaints of hidden cameras invading renter's privacy.

There have been multiple complaints of home-share scares and hidden cameras invading renter's privacy.

We discovered how to find home-share hidden cameras and where exactly to look for them.

A security expert also told us what do you do if you find one of these cameras invading your space.

Cameras are allowed but there are laws and home-share policies to protect privacy. For example, AirBNB allows hosts to place cameras in common areas, including kitchens and living rooms, but they must be disclosed to renters, and of course there are places where cameras are not allowed as well.

"In your most private spaces, which would be your bedrooms, your bathrooms, places where you shower and then even other areas such as pools and saunas, because there's a reasonable expectation of privacy," said Midwest Security Manager at Jensen Hughes, Jordan Ferrantelli.

With the popularity of short-term home rentals also comes risks, like hidden cameras inside or not getting what you paid for. Consumer Investigator Jason Knowles and the ABC 7 I-Te

Now, Ferrantelli is showing how to spot cameras as tiny as a pinhole disguised as common objects. Many times they can resemble a screw head or be hidden in a clock or a smoke alarm he said.

Ferrantelli says to check the bedroom first.

"Something as simple as vents, there could a be a small camera that's sitting right here that has a direct view of the bed. You have a clock radio that's not plugged in, but its aimed directly at the bedroom. That might be a little bit of a warning sign," said Ferrantelli. "So what you would want to do is take your flashlight and shine it and look for any reflections to see if you can see any glass where a camera would be."

You can also use your phone in selfie-mode to spot cameras because they use an infrared light just like in remotes.

Ferrantelli also recommends checking the bathroom. He said to look for clocks adjacent to the shower.

Look for warning signs such as multiple smoke detectors or more than one clock in a room.

If you find a camera, immediately leave and contact police and the home share platform, not the host.