No one is going to intentionally stick a camera in a hotel room to catch me in the shower, but the video camera might be there anyway, and it’s really creepy.
Cameras are often concealed inside of devices you’d expect to find in a room like a clock radio, a smoke detector, or inside an air conditioning vent. A viral TikTok video shows how to find any hidden cameras in your hotel room or Airbnb.
Here’s the basic advice:
- Check around the room for devices near where someone might want to record, such as a bed or shower.
- Check those devices for a camera by shining a light on them.
- Look for infrared sensors on devices, more likely in a bedroom than bathroom (since people don’t usually shower in the dark)
- You can also use a radio frequency detector to check for signals from devices
Here’s advice I’ve offered on finding any devices that may be in your room. Check for plaster near the wall or on furniture, because that could be from pinholes that were drilled. Look for unusual placement of objects (to get just the right angle on you). Look for new paint in areas. And listen for static from the hotel phone (which might mean a radio signal).
I’ve written about a woman suing Hilton for $100 million because an employee videotaped her in the shower and used the tape to blackmail her. There’s even been a subscription website where people paid to watch hotel guests being spied on in their rooms. Airbnb has a problem with hidden cameras in homes placed there by owners, too.
Of course in Japan you can rent a room where you’re only charged $1 because they actually adverise that you’ll be livestreamed on YouTube.
I believe major chain hotels – as a brand standard – should conduct regular sweeps to ensure guest privacy. This would be a nice differentiator from Airbnb (but then again so would daily housekeeping).