SIA assures customers that in-flight entertainment cameras are not being used

In-flight entertainment systems in the economy class cabin of a Singapore Airlines plane.
In-flight entertainment systems in the economy class cabin of a Singapore Airlines plane.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has reassured passengers that small cameras attached to the in-flight entertainment system on some of its planes are not being used.

Some customers had said that they got the feeling they were being watched as they watched movies and used other entertainment options on their journeys.

However, an SIA spokesman told The Straits Times: “The camera is permanently disabled and cannot be activated on board."

The in-flight entertainment systems installed with a camera are manufactured by Panasonic and Thales, and can be found on the Airbus 350, A-380, Boeing 777-300ER and B 787-10 planes, the airline said.

“These newer in-flight entertainment screens and handsets are provided by the original equipment manufacturers,” the spokesman said.

“Do allow us to reiterate that we have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras.”

The same AVANT in-flight entertainment system developed by French aerospace firm Thales has been ordered or installed on more than 1,600 aircraft by major carriers, Thales says on its website.

They include Japan Airlines, Emirates, American Airlines, China Southern and Hainan Airlines.

 
 

Passenger Vitaly Kamluk, who spotted the camera on a recent SIA flight, said in a tweet: "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?"

The airline replied to him with the same assurance that "there are no plans to develop any features using the cameras".

SIA said further: "We would like to share that some of our newer in-flight entertainment systems provided by the original equipment manufacturers do have a camera embedded in the hardware."