One man who found a hidden camera in his Airbnb rental in the UK has said he has been 'blown away' by the response from people.
Ian Timbrell found the camera between two couch cushions in the living room of the property he was renting in Wales.
He told Lunchtime Live he had no idea there was a camera anywhere.
"Unfortunately I was also staying in a place that was infested with flies, it was not a good experience," he said.
"I happened to be spraying flies and then spotted it in the sofa, it was hidden between two cushions in the sofa.
"I didn't know what it was first of all, and then realised it was a webcam that was plugged in and transmitting.
"I thought it was a joke, I really did.
"It's that type of thing that you think is never going to happen to you."
Mr Timbrell said the camera was pointing at his face.
"The weird about it was that it wasn't even well hidden," he said.
"I was renting a room only and the owner was away on holiday.
"I thought this person is filming the living room without consent.
"Nothing untoward is going to happen in that living room, but still I'm going to be able to relax watching TV knowing there's a camera pointing at my face".
Mr Timbrell said he unplugged it straight away and contacted the owner.
"The owner's response was that I paid for room-only and I shouldn't have been going in the communal areas," he said.
"However [to get to] the bathroom to have a shower you had to walk through the living room.
"So even if I wasn't spending time in the living room, I still would have walked past the camera."
Mr Timbrell said he has been 'blown away' by the response from the public.
"I literally put it on [social media] because I thought it was a funny anecdote, and it's now gone close to 10,000 likes," he said.
"It's been in several national newspapers - I'm absolutely blown away.
"Actually there's been quite a lot of anger from a lot of people about it, particularly other Airbnb owners who feel like their reputation has been tarnished," he added.
'Major invasion of privacy'
Eoghan Corry, Editor of Air and Travel Magazine, told the show cameras are allowed as long as they are disclosed.
"Yes they can, but this is a major invasion of privacy," he said.
"Self-catering has been around for a long, long time; Airbnb is quite new.
"The ground rules are that - much the same as a hotel - you're allowed cameras in a public area and you cannot have cameras in a private area.
"Where it comes to be a little bit iffy is it's easy in a hotel to say, 'This is a public area, this is a private area'.
"Less so in the self-catering or the short-term rental business as they call it.
"There's another really important proviso: when the guests arrive, you show them where the cameras are.
"You can't be going around sticking cameras in places to keep an eye on the guests.
"That's an absolute no-no, they have to know here they are."
Eoghan said Airbnb is not actually a travel company.
"They are a technology company that put all the lists up, and we don't have a hell of a lot of information as to even how many [properties] we have," he said.
"Airbnb doesn't have an inspectorate, it doesn't have the facilities to go around to all its owners and say, 'These are the rules'.
"It's not like you have Fáilte Ireland inspectors going around to hotels.
"While issues like this do arise... they tend not to rise very often.
"People booking short-term rentals should be fairly clear in their head that they have a right to privacy and that if there is a camera they will be told about it when they arrive.
"Airbnb are not probably great at policing this.
"I would imagine, as a result of an investigation if anything untoward is found, the listing would then be removed from Airbnb," he added.
Airbnb has told Mr Timbrell they are now investigating his complaint.
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