Two young women found a camera turned towards the shower of the Airbnb they had rented for their holidays in Haute-Savoie. The videos of 14 other tenants were found there.
The discovery instantly chilled them. During the Ascension weekend, at the beginning of May, two young women in their twenties, from Meurthe-et-Moselle, chose an AirBnb in Dingy-Saint-Clair, near Annecy (Haute-Savoie). Initially, everything goes well. But they are intrigued by an alarm clock, installed in the bathroom, facing the shower. Looking at it a little closer, amazement: a camera is integrated into the object. The two young women immediately contact the police, who confirm the unthinkable. On a 32 gigabyte SD card, found in the alarm clock, several videos are recorded. The two vacationers were filmed in the showerbut also at least 14 other tenants.
For France Bleu Pays de Savoie, Madison, one of the young women, confides. “I live very badly what happened (…) I believe that my privacy has been violated.” A feeling all the stronger because the camera allowed a live broadcast, which suggests that the owner was able to watch the images from his phone for example. “This guy had hundreds of positive reviews, apparently he was the right family man in every way. There was no reason to suspect anything and eventually, I found myself going through this. Now I don’t trust anything anymore, everywhere I go I check everywhere. I look at all the objects that seem strange to me, if it has nothing to do with where it is, I find it suspicious. I went into a phase of paranoia but I’m working on it.
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An investigation has been opened by the Annecy prosecutor’s office
The case was immediately taken seriously by the Annecy prosecutor’s office, which opened an investigation for capturing images and invasion of privacy. Airbnb has been requisitioned for justice to obtain the names of all the tenants who have been in the accommodation, a request to which they have not yet acceded. The ad was removed from the site, but according to the victims, She had been online for several years.
The two young women, however, deplore that Airbnb did not compensate them despite what they experienced, even if the rental was reimbursed to them. “I find it disrespectful after what happened” explains Madison. Victims also saw the ad appear online on new platforms after being kicked out of Airbnb. “We contacted these sites, but they reply that it was not on their platform, so there is no problem.” According to the prosecutor of Annecy, Line Bonnet-Mathis, this type of facts is more and more common in France. “Even if in Haute-Savoie this case remains exceptional.”