I’m not au fait with exactly how Alexa works. Are all conversations capable of being heard by the HO when you are sitting?
@Home I have an Echo Show (Alexa), and I have disabled all communication settings because I want to protect my personal data from being accessed by large companies. This means that Amazon cannot hear or record my conversations for advertising purposes. I had a small Echo device 7 years ago and noticed what it was capable of doing. Unfortunately, back then, you couldn’t turn off those settings, so I simply never used it. It remained unplugged. There is also a camera cover on the Echo Show that I keep off even when I’m at home.
The sole purpose of having the Alexa Echo Show in my home is to use it as a monitor when someone rings the Ring Bell. As a fairly private person, I completely understand the sitter’s concerns. I have reassured them that, even though the settings are turned off, if they still feel uncomfortable, they can simply unplug it. We have a chime in the hallway that will alert them when someone rings the bell outside.
I find the fact that internal cameras are becoming more the norm very disconcerting and highly unsettling. I have never actually asked about this during the pre sit conversation but it is probably something worth raising given that it’s no longer such a rarity these days.
I could never relax if I felt my every move was being monitored.
I have an Echo Studio and an Alexa Show that I got and enjoyed during the height of the pandemic. I have taken the Alexa Show to sits to see what’s going on at my own home via our Ring cameras. I also like being able to see the local weather and play music, although it often competes with the HO Alexa. Actually, I hardly use either of them as I don’t trust them unless they’re unplugged. Occasionally I plug in the studio to listen to music. My current favorite is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, lovely anytime.
Just pull the plug out of the Alexa
Yes. I have been in homes with cameras. And with security devises that may have cameras, with red lights that occasionally come on. If a red light comes on, I presume they’re taking a look or taking a photo of the room in question? (Option available on our own home security system)
Very unnerving. Though one just keeps on going regardless. Fortunately we don’t like to walk around other people’s homes naked…
Welcome to the forum @Jupiterwoman , Indoor cameras are verboten by THS.
Inform your homeowners. You should not have to worry that you are being watched. It’s a good idea to ask about them in the pre-sit phone or video call, so the issue is sorted before you arrive.
@MissChef that just reminded me so much of The Oatmeal & the monster going into the sea!
Yes, you are absolutely correct.
I am Godzilla/Gojira.
And I also use sign language.
(Fun fact for all you trivia buffs: GOJIRA is a portmanteau of gorilla and kujira, the Japanese word for whale. Godzilla is the American rendition. The American film company decided to render the name as Godzilla instead of Gójira.)
This would not bother me at all. I can understand the owners concerns and if it makes them feel more comfortable having a neighbor chekc in once or twice I am fine with that.
While it may not bother you, it is against the terms and conditions of this website for a reason.
Homeowners need to know that a housesitter is not required to permit a third party on-site. In fact, it’s explicitly not allowed.
It’s up to you if you want to make an exception, but sitters should not be expected to comply with that requirement.
Ugh…yes! I just dealt with this same thing…a camera in my bedroom that I was told was not in use. I’m supposed to trust that? It made me uncomfortable every time I changed my clothes. Homeowners need to be upfront about this! I wasn’t shown the room when I came to meet them prior to the sit. I didn’t ask where I’d be sleeping because I didn’t know better to ask and I didn’t want to pry…it was my first sit. What’s worse…it was local and I did it to be nice when she messaged me to ask if I’d do an 8 day sit. I feel like an absolute idiot for accepting and honestly, I’m turned off by this entire thing now, especially reading other stories like yours!
It’s one of those learning curves @Travelgirl1111 - now you’ve done one sit (albeit a not great one) you’ll ask Where will I be sleeping? Do you have cameras? Will there be any third parties on site during the sit? And lots of other extra things you now know about. 99% of sits, HOs, pets and sitters are fab, you were just unlucky. Don’t give up your dreams based on one bad apple
By third - party, do you mean cameras? Then the HO I just sat for was in violation of this if that’s the case. They skimmed over telling me the camera in my room was not turned on. I felt stuck as they were off to catch a flight. Very frustrating, besides not being entirely clear about the daily duties I was responsible for until I arrived for the sit and it was too late to back out.
No, it’s about the HO not inviting someone to come on the property during the scheduled sit dates for any reason besides an emergency. And yes, this includes the HO & family.
Cameras indoors are strictly prohibited. No discussion necessary.
Why aren’t people just unplugging them? I’ve done that several times, without asking or even informing the HO… and none of them have ever mentioned it.
I’d like to pretend that they do know better and give them grace by assuming they forgot to unplug them
But if they said anything about plugging anything back in,
I once had a sit where I noticed a camera in the living room (not mentioned). I threw a towel over it. 10 minutes later I get a message from the HO: “oh, btw, there is a pet camera in the living room that we use to watch the dog, you can just unplug it.”
Mm-hmmm?! So if I didn’t notice it and throw a rag over it, they would have just continued watching me and dog? Can’t know for certain, but don’t like the odds! I did tell them, at the end of the sit, that all inside cameras need to be disclosed and turned off for sitters.
@MissChef For my situation, there was no unplugging the camera. It was built into the ceiling in my bedroom. They said it was not on and I had to trust that. It was an elderly woman and her adult daughter so I wasn’t concerned about a male spying on me, but it was still very uncomfortable.
This happened to me once, 8 years ago, in an Airbnb, the guy swore up and down the cameras didn’t work and he hadn’t gotten around to taking them down.
I inspected the place to check for more and found a recording system, which was powered on and working, as well as a computer – same, powered on and working.
I reported it to Airbnb, and they said they got in touch with the homeowner who said they were not connected, they were from when his elderly mother lived with him.
So I covered up all the cameras with aluminum foil, unplugged the video recorder & computer. The guy was probably disappointed in the video of us anyway
Oh. My. Gawd! That’s horrible!! Great ideas of covering everything up. I should have thought to do that, but didn’t. Thanks for sharing that tip! And yes…BS!