Airline seats equipped with cameras pointed at passengers sparks security concerns
Planes operated by three of the world's largest airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have cameras preinstalled in seat-back entertainment systems.
The issue was raised after a passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight posted a photo of the seat-back display last week and the tweet was shared several hundred times.
Just found this interesting sensor looking at me from the seat back on board of Singapore Airlines. Any expert opinion of whether this a camera? Perhaps @SingaporeAir could clarify how it is used? pic.twitter.com/vy0usqruZG— Vitaly Kamluk (@vkamluk) February 17, 2019
Noted with thanks, @SingaporeAir. I really like your IFE system and quality of the content. Keep security of your passengers up! It's best to disable these cameras physically until you decide to use them, i.e. with a simple sticker. Thank you! 🙏🏻 https://t.co/leibNF3NgT— Vitaly Kamluk (@vkamluk) February 17, 2019
Planes operated by American Airlines and United Airlines also have the hi-tech seat-back entertainment systems that come with a camera.
According to the Associated Press, it is likely that planes with other airlines will also have these cameras.
This raises questions around what the cameras will be used for, will passengers be secretly filmed, whether it be for security, or customer research?
The three airlines all announced over the weekend that they have never activated the cameras and do not intend to use them.
An American Airlines spokesperson told Express.co.uk: "Cameras are a standard feature on many in-flight entertainment systems used by multiple airlines.
"Manufacturers of those systems have included cameras for possible future uses such as seat-to-seat video conferencing.
"While these cameras are present on some American Airlines in-flight entertainment systems as delivered from the manufacturer, they have never been activated and American is not considering using them."