Airbnb: Brits 'find spy camera hidden in digital clock pointed at bed in holiday flat'

 A British couple say they found a spy camera pointed at their bed in an Airbnb flat, highlighting holidaymakers' fears about staying in a stranger's home.

Dougie Hamilton said the camera was hidden in a digital clock that immediately looked suspicious because it was connected to a wire "like a phone charger".
The 34-year-old said he and his girlfriend had just returned to the flat after a day of touring Toronto, Canada, when he noticed the clock.
He told the Daily Record he picked it up to take a closer look and was left creeped out when he realised that the host may have been recording video of the pair.
Mr Hamilton, from Glasgow, has alerted Airbnb and police, who are both investigating. Airbnb said it has removed the host from the website while it investigates.
He said: “(Airbnb) told us the property owner has six other properties and hundreds of reviews, so it looks like we’ve been lucky.
“We were only in the place for 20 minutes when I noticed the clock. We’d had a busy day around the city and finally were able to get to the Airbnb and relax.
“I just happened to be facing this clock and was staring at it for about 10 minutes. There was just something in my head that made me feel a bit uneasy.
“It was connected to a wire like a phone charger which wasn’t quite right. The weirdest thing was, I’d seen a video on Facebook about cameras and how they could be hidden and they had a clock with one in it, too."
He added: ”When I saw the clock, I thought, ‘Do I want to be the crazy guy that checks a digital clock for cameras now?’ In my head, I felt a bit weird even thinking it and I kept telling myself not to be daft. But there was just something.
“I took the charger out of it and saw there was a lithium battery in the back. At this point, I slid the front facing off the clock and could see there actually was a camera.”
Mr Hamilton said the camera was facing into the living area and open-plan bedroom, and it could see "everything".
He added: "We didn’t know if the owner had been watching.
“It just felt really creepy and we didn’t want to stay.
“We’re innocent-minded people but the clock was facing where our bed was and we thought it might be for something more sinister like a sex ring.”
A spokeswoman for Toronto police said: “We received a call last Thursday regarding what appeared to be a video camera in a clock in an apartment. The investigation is continuing.”
Mr Hamilton and his girlfriend, who does not want to be identified, lodged an official complaint with Airbnb.
He said: “Airbnb passed it on to their security team. They told us to pick one of three luxury hotels close by and said we could leave the Airbnb and get a full refund.
“They said they would be cancelling upcoming reservations for the owner’s properties.”
An Airbnb spokesperson said: "We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero tolerance policy for this behaviour.
"We have removed the host from the platform while we investigate and are providing the guest with our full support."
Airbnb said its rules require hosts to disclose whether they have security cameras or surveillance equipment in or around their properties.
Cameras are not allowed in bathrooms or bedrooms, the company added.
Despite the incident, Mr Hamilton said he will continue to use Airbnbs during his trip.
He added: “I’ll be giving the room a quick scan when I check in.”
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