Private life: airlines are causing controversy in equipping their aircraft with webcams

Who would want to be observed during a nap on an airplane? Since the beginning of the year, several airlines (such as American Airlines, Delta or United Airline

Private life: airlines are causing controversy in equipping their aircraft with webcams

Who would want to be observed during a nap on an airplane? Since the beginning of the year, several airlines (such as American Airlines, Delta or United Airlines) are faced with the concern of their passengers, who have found the installation of webcams on some seats, at the level of the shelves dedicated to entertainment. The controversy became so swollen that United Airlines, american airline, announced last week that it would cover these famous cameras of stickers, in order to reassure the travellers.

"None of these devices has never been activated and we have no intention to use it," explains a spokesperson for United Airlines. "However, we have taken the lead in covering the cameras." The firm has also said that the addition of cameras in its screens was not of its jurisdiction, the tablets having been supplied with a default webcam.

This is not an isolated case

United is not the only airline to have been noticed for its cameras. For example, it is also the case of American Airlines. As noted by the american website Buzzfeed, the two companies have a common point: it is Panasonic, who manages the construction of their screens. "We have never activate any feature of our devices without an explicit request of one of the companies with whom we are partners," stressed the specialist of electronics with Buzzfeed in February, implying that the webcams were a demand of the airlines.

in Early 2019, Vitaly Kamluk, an expert in cyber security, was also questioned on his Twitter account on the cameras screens on the seats of the company Singapore Airlines. Subsequently, other airlines show up with cameras were pointed. Like United Airlines, they have explained that the devices were installed "by default" and were not active.

The case has even come to the ears of two u.s. senators, as stated in the New York Times . Democrat Jeff Merkley and Republican John Kennedy had requested in march 2019 accounts in eight u.s. airlines. The two elected officials want to know if the cameras were used to monitor the passengers, and if they were informed about the presence of devices. The "Airline Passenger Experience Association", an american organization that advocates for the improvement of air travel, is also mounted to the front: she wants the companies now require the agreement of the passengers, before the use of cameras.

so far, these devices are already used in some companies such as Emirates. The first class passengers have the opportunity to chat with the flight attendants in the video. Such cameras can also be used to control the screen through hand movements.

Updated Date: 30 April 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees

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