A viral photo has surfaced the web showing something quite alarming: a camera lens that is looking right at you when you’re sitting in your airplane seat. Yes, you read that correctly. The photo, shared by Twitter user Vitaly Kamluk, partially shows Singapore Airlines entertainment system in-flight. Right below, you will notice a small lens.
“Any expert opinion of whether this a camera? Perhaps @SingaporeAir could clarify how it is used?” Twitter user Vitaly Kamluk wrote.
In reply, Singapore Airlines said, “these cameras have been disabled on our aircraft, and there are no plans to develop any features using these cameras.” To further clarify, officials said, “These cameras on our newer IFE systems were provided by the original equipment manufacturers. We have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras. Thank you”
Interestingly, Singapore Airlines isn’t aline. According to Buzzfeed, a former employee saw similar cameras on an American Airlines aircraft. In response, American Airlines officials said the camera are a feature that’s provided by the manufacturer of the in-flight entertainment systems on many of their aircrafts.
“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,” an official told CNET.
People online, however, have said that the choice to add cameras in airplane seats are there to spy on you at all times. Privacy expert Ann Cavoukian shared concerns about the cameras being included on aircrafts, and further adding that there’s no accountability or transparency from airline companies.