Privacy has become Silicon Valley’s favourite incantation. At every conference, media event and investor day, tech companies chant the word as if their lives (or at least their revenue growth) depend on it. Apple boss Tim Cook wrote a magazine editorial titled “You deserve privacy online”. Google CEO Sundar Pichai told an audience his company believes “privacy is for everyone”. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg claims the future is private. To believe in any of this requires a slippery definition of privacy, involving multibillion-dollar companies knowing where you are, who you are with and what you are up to at all times. But there is one privacy violation that feels more clear-cut: hidden cameras in Airbnbs.A recent crop of stories about guests finding recording equipment in their lodgings has forced the San Francisco-based company to clarify its position. If you are paranoid and care to look, it turns out there have been a lot of these complaints. Airbnb guests claim to have fou...

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