A keen eyed passenger aboard a Singapore Airlines flight noticed “an interesting looking sensor” on his in-flight entertainment system and promptly uploaded images to Twitter.
Singapore Airlines responded via Twiter, “Some of our newer inflight entertainment systems provided by the original equipment manufacturers do have a camera embedded in the hardware… These cameras have been disabled on our aircraft, and there are no plans to develop any features using the cameras.”
“Cameras are a standard feature on many in-flight entertainment systems used by multiple airlines,” American spokesperson Ross Feinstein. “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.”
It seems that hardware manufacturers include a range of ‘add-on’ technology in their systems, in preparedness for possible future upgrades, and that is simply all these camera lenses are. However, with the current levels of concern about “spy technology” and lack of privacy, perhaps these “future upgrades” could be covered up by the airlines.