"the control of noise in real time", "effective property monitoring" and "risk assessment" – it doesn't sound like a relaxing holiday. These terms are manufacturer of advertise for surveillance devices, the installation of the booking platform, Airbnb is recommended, since a few weeks the landlords. Since December, Airbnb offers to its owners in Europe for the devices of two manufacturers even a discount, it costs between 37 and 136 francs. Outside Europe, a third party company is still in the offer. The customers can order the devices over the Internet directly to your home.
Airbnb calls them "Party Prevention Devices", devices to the Party-prevention. At first glance, they look like smoke detectors – the only sign of the fire, but noise. Inside, a kind of Decibel meter that continuously records the volume in the housing, and a computer chip that analyzes the data and via Wlan to the master of the house transfers are. As soon as the noise level is consistently above a landlord set threshold value, the value is automatically notified about the unwanted volume in the accommodation.
eavesdropping on tourists, As Noiseware. Photo: PD
The device from the manufacturer noise aware the landlord can observe the noise level in your apartment in real time via a Web Portal. The show shows curves of the provider on its website the Volume, in addition to each of which a word is: "living room", "terrace" and "hot tub". For larger properties noise aware recommends to install at these three places with his measuring devices. For each of the three places to see in the App, how the noise develops over several hours. According to the manufacturer, the data is stored round-the-clock and can be accessed years retroactively.
the officer's view of Silvia boehlen, spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal data protection and information, the Instrument is, overall, questionable, in particular as regards the proportionality. The permanent recording of noise in an Airbnb apartment provides all of the tenants and hirer under General suspicion and allows far-reaching conclusions on their daily routine. Also, one could wonder how practical such a noise meter was in an Airbnb apartment, if it's just a matter of not figuring out whether the tenants beat tenants to the strands.
A record and year long storage is absolutely disproportionate, says the Swiss data protection activist.
If a landlord of such a Noise meter in his Airbnb apartment installed, he would definitely inform the tenants in advance in the contract. However, according to von Böhlen, this is not enough: There is a need for an appropriate information in the apartment, so that the data acquisition is clearly visible. The real-time Transmission to the landlords was one thing, but a record and year long storage, is absolutely disproportionate. In no case is it permitted would be, if, with the measuring devices, and call content would be recorded. Such hidden recordings are according to Swiss law, is punishable by law.
Airbnb, it means that on request, the devices served only "to prevent unauthorized parties and disturbances in the neighborhood". None would record the sound. In addition, the platform of all of the owners demands, the use of the devices in the description text of the property or in the house to make the procedure transparent. Also, the manufacturers make it clear on the request that there are no voices or noises in the apartment included and only the noise level is measured. They emphasise that the privacy of the tenants was important and that they wanted to protect.
Since the devices are not manufactured by Airbnb, would be for a privacy and data protection audit, the country in which the devices are sold. Worldwide, Airbnb currently offers discounts on equipment from three manufacturers: Roomonitor is a Spanish company, Mînut sitting in London, noise aware, Texas Dallas.
However, even if the guests as prescribed in General about the use of the Party-prevention technology, its security is not guaranteed, that you also are aware of what conclusions can be drawn from the data submitted. So the noise measurements can reveal, for example, when a visitor gets up or goes to bed. Even what time it is where, according to accommodation, from the data read. This may still allow for more conclusions to be drawn than just the answer to that, whether a guest has celebrated an unannounced Party.
Actually, there is since the launch of Airbnb always reports of loud tourists, and complaints from neighbors. Accommodation a lot more guests would have stayed the night as agreed, it means then. Or: The guests have celebrated a Party. At the same time, there are also reports of Airbnb guests who have found hidden cameras in their homes – even though the violates clearly against the Airbnb policy.
Created: 29.02.2020, 19:28 PMUpdated Date: 02 March 2020, 12:00