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When travelling, what should you do if you discover a concealed camera?

The six-part series “Safety in Travel” focuses on the various travel safety measures offered by various businesses, how they can impact the whole experience, and how passengers can use them. You can click here to complete this short form if you’d want to share your experience as a source and help shape our future reporting.

Shadows were originally spotted inside a restroom stall on the MSC Cruises Meraviglia, but Saja Rafaeil didn’t pay them any attention at the time. She got up one night as she and her husband were lounging in an aboard lounge while they were on a cruise that stopped in Mexico and the Bahamas.

She said, “I tried to ignore (the shadows). Then she observed a hand reaching downward and upward while holding a telephone. “And then I started to panic out a little bit,” she continued.

Because of the seriousness of the situation, Saja preferred to only be referred to by her first and middle names. Saja informed a crew member outside the restroom, who then entered and banged on the stall door with a fellow passenger she had just met. In order to have documentation, Saja started recording on her phone as well. She then uploaded the video to TikTok. A male crew member emerged when the door popped open.

Saja and her husband still had a few days to go, including one at sea, before returning to Port Canaveral in Florida. After that, she continued, “I just felt so violated that I needed to go back to my room… and for the following two days (on the ship), I was kind of just in my room.”

Saja is one of many vacationers who claim they were recorded or spied on while on the road, either by a clandestine perpetrator or via a hidden camera in their lodgings.

An MSC representative issued a statement through email that read, “We are aware of the incident on board MSC Meraviglia and our security team fully cooperated with authorities on this inquiry. “We took swift action to support the harmed guests and terminate the employment of the offending staff member. Our primary focus is ensuring the safety and comfort of both our passengers and staff, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for any inappropriate behaviour on board our ships.

Saja reported the incident to both MSC and the Florida’s Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. According to information from the draught report, the sheriff’s office spokesperson stated in an email that it has not been finalised.

The spokesperson continued, “The suspect did not admit to filming the victim, and a search of the suspect’s phone did not turn up any video or images of the victim.”

According to Michael Winkleman, a maritime lawyer with Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., cruise ships are governed by the laws of the nation under which they are registered.

He claimed in an email that “most of the time, these foreign nations have invasion of privacy laws that are similar to the US.” As a result, installing covert cameras aboard cruise ships is also prohibited.

How frequently are travellers watched when travelling?

Because many people are unaware that they are being recorded or choose not to report it, it is “hard to quantify” the precise number of incidents, according to Carrie Pasquarello, CEO and co-founder of Global Secure Resources Inc., a business that specialises in risk management and threat assessment planning.

According to Pasquarello, the most frequent motives for filming passengers without their knowledge or agreement include voyeurism, sextortion, extortion, and blackmail. She added that in other instances, people filming may livestream the video to viewers or make threats to reveal the material if those being filmed refuse to pay them money or take part in the creation of additional sexually explicit content. In a 2018 lawsuit, it was alleged that a woman was secretly filmed taking a shower in a Hilton hotel before being forced to pay. The investigation is ongoing. Does Airbnb permit cameras on vacation rentals?
Cameras are permitted by Airbnb to provide “peace of mind” for security, but they must be disclosed before booking, put in a way that is obvious, and not violate anyone’s privacy.

According to Airbnb’s community regulations, cameras are only permitted in “public spaces and shared spaces,” not in a living room with a couch bed. Disconnected gadgets, however, “are permitted as long as they are turned off and proactively reported to guests,”

The door code Casamento was given didn’t function when her buddy first arrived at the Airbnb. According to Casamento, a man abruptly began speaking to her via the camera doorbell and provided a different code.

As soon as her companion entered the house, the host began texting her friend to remove her shoes.

The distinctiveness of footwear, according to Casamento, is a warning sign. “I got chills simply reading that.”

A camera was pointed squarely at the bed in the corner of a bedroom as her friend circled the rental. She began looking for more cameras and discovered one that was “quite neatly situated” in the living area facing the couches, behind a curtain.

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