You can imagine the uproar caused when it was discovered that the in-flight entertainment systems on some new United airplanes have built-in cameras. This obviously led to privacy concerns and criticism since many passengers didn’t even know that the seatback systems had cameras in the first place. United has now started physically covering up these cameras.
The seatback in-flight entertainment systems have been supplied by Panasonic’s aviation equipment division. The company says that they feature integrated cameras for features that may be available in the future such as video calling and gaming. United says that it didn’t order those systems with cameras.
“As with many other airlines, some of our premium seats have in-flight entertainment systems that came with cameras installed by the manufacturer. All cameras have since been covered, which were never activated and that we have no plans to use in the future,” a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Buzzfeed News.
The airline is now going to physically cover the cameras in all future installations of this system in its premium seating options. It should help assuage privacy concerns. This follows reports that the airline was mulling the option to cover the cameras with stickers or pieces of plastic.