Dystopia watch: Guide to spotting hidden cameras in your Airbnb


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/11/cctv-airbnb.html


And when you find them, use a high-power laser pointer to adjust the image sensors.

eta: Or a piece of duct tape. Your call.


Reminds me of this https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/11/gay-talese-the-voyeurs-motel

But also, no surprise that gig economy shit lacks protections of its official counterparts. Assume all Ubers are non-insured, assume all AirBnbs are surveiled.


Will that actually damage anything?


Dump a few watts right into the image sensor for a while, and it’s not going to be happy, even if the focused laser doesn’t directly burn it.


The device linked in the text quoted here seems to be a piece of garbage.

For some reason all of the 5 star reviews seem to be reviewing a calendar, while the 1 star reviews are reviewing a beeping, blinking piece of plastic crap with an antenna connected to nothing.

Garbage product -> Garbage article -> Garbage post.

Edit: Oooh, put me on the disappointed list! I want my money back!


If you have the right kind of laser you can damage anything. This is more a concern for higher end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Most “hidden cameras” won’t be appreciably damaged by your bog standard class IIIa HeNe laser. But if I find a hidden camera in my accommodations…the owner would have more problems than a broken lens coming their way.


Are you sure dystopia or just plain perverts?


More like one of these dangerous toys, or roll your own, and wear eye protection!


Sounds like I need to upgrade my cat pointer.


I’ll never understand the appeal of creepshots. Most of us look terrible with our clothes off, unless we have a team of experts making us beautiful. It must be the thrill of transgression or something.


How about take a hammer and nail to the lens ? Easier to obtain than a high-powered laser.




We use and also host AirBnB. I’ve never come across the hidden camera thing, but I have seen the odd energy bar at the back of the junk draw. Wonder how long that’s been there?

  • “Banality of evil” scenario: Airbnb landlord is collecting creepshots.
  • Alternate “banality of evil” scenario: Airbnb landlord is making sure tenants don’t trash the space.
  • Spectacular scenario: Airbnb landlord is making sure you aren’t using their condo as a popup brothel. (It does happen, but I’m not going to google links to news stories about it for you while I’m at work.)
  • Optimum scenario: Airbnb landlord is okay with the whole popup brothel thing, as long as they get to collect/keep video footage.


There is always the chance that the landlord only checks the camera after the checkout time for superficial damage. Um, that doesn’t really pass the bar, does it?

Plus, the 400 lbs haxor probably watches 24/7.




I’d be tempted to spray paint an arrow on the wall, along with ‘CAMERA HERE’


personally the first thing i do when entering an airbnb is strip down completely nude, go low into a crab stance, and start vigorously masturbating to ensure anyone monitoring the cameras turns them off immediately


Zoidberg, is that you?