Airbnb permanently ban Cork user after hidden camera discovered

The Barker family found a camera hidden inside a detector in the living room of their Airbnb accomodation

The Barker family found a camera hidden inside a detector in the living room of their Airbnb accomodation

The Barker family unpacked their bags, and like many, tried to connect to the WiFi.

In a bid to find out what the unknown device was, Andrew connected the "IP camera" to his phone and was alarmed to see a live-video feed of the family staring back at him.

The family eventually found the camera hidden in what looked like a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm.

"It was such a shock". "It was just a really awful feeling", Nealie Barker tells CNN, adding to the Irish Times: "It felt like a huge invasion of our privacy".

"He later called back and admitted there was only one hidden camera and that he had installed it to "protect his asset".

Ms Barker says they viewed live footage of themselves on her husband's phone. "We got our money back and the guy is now under investigation with his Airbnb listing removed".

Next, Andrew Barker called the owner of the property.

She told Stuff: "There is no way to know whether the camera was recording". They booked into a nearby hotel. "They still didn't seem to grasp the seriousness of the issue. They were treating it like a canceled booking", Nealie Barker said.

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The Barkers also confirmed the camera had not been mentioned on the Airbnb listing.

According to Stuff, the family said Airbnb's first response to their complaint was "hopeless" with the company saying there was no wrong-doing on their part. "PLEASE SHARE WIDELY", the New Zealand mom wrote about a recent experience she and her family had while on vacation in Ireland.

Airbnb has described the safety and privacy of the people who use the service - both online and offline - as a priority. "Airbnb policies strictly prohibit hidden cameras in listings and we take reports of any violations extremely seriously", a spokesperson said.

"Other hosts have been wonderful and we don't want a few bad apples ruining the platform for everyone".

In a statement to the New Zealand Herald, a spokesperson for the company conceded "our original handling of this incident did not meet the high standards we set for ourselves".

"There have been over half a billion guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are incredibly rare".

Ireland's Data Protection Commission told CNN that it is "seeking further information from Airbnb on the matter".

Airbnb finally banned the host after Nealie Barker posted about the disturbing incident on Facebook on Monday this week.

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