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Some airliners have cameras on seat-back screens

Posted February. 25, 2019 07:48,   

Updated February. 25, 2019 07:48


It has been reported by U.S. news media outlets including BuzzFeed on Saturday that three U.S. carriers such as American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines have camera lenses installed onto TV screens at each seat. Such cameras are embedded in in-flight screens of other airliners to detect movements of passengers in the seats, BuzzFeed reported. A snooping eye is still on people even during flight.

Seat screens, called an entertainment system, are equipped with camera lenses. A passenger who flew with Singapore Airlines has recently discovered that the screen in front of his seat has a camera lens on it, getting attention online by posting its picture on his social networking account. This has led other airliners to admit having camera lenses onboard.

Some passenger seats of Airbus, Boeing and others are found to have embedded camera lenses. Eighty two out of 1,000 aircrafts of American Airlines have camera lenses at "Premium Economy" seats, right behind First Class and Business rows.  

Against this backdrop, passengers find their privacy at stake. “It may be a tiring journey for me if I feel that the camera lens keeps an eye on me,” said a fight passenger.

Camera lenses have been installed in advance to enable passengers to hold a video conference when technology advancement allows for it, explained American Airlines. In response to increasing privacy concerns, airliners say that the embedded camera lenses are not in operation. Some critics point out that in-flight camera lenses are not a big deal given that personal data are already compromised by facial recognition systems when passengers go through security checks at the airport.

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com