Infotainment systems are becoming more and more common on planes. Not everyone finds them that much useful to while the time away but those can just ignore the screen. If you happen to be riding one of Singapore Airlines’ upgraded planes, however, you might worry that the screen is staring back at you in silence. It turns out, those new inflight entertainment systems come with a camera by default, though the airline insists they are also disabled by default.
Given how embedded cameras are almost hard to see, few might have noticed this or given it a second thought. It didn’t escape Twitter user Vitaly Kamluk’s keen eye, however, and took to social media to both raise awareness and ask the airline for clarification.
To its credit, Singapore Airlines did respond and didn’t give anyone the runaround. It admitted there was a camera on every system because that’s included in the hardware provided by the OEM and can’t be removed. The airline, however, also clarified that the cameras are disabled and that they have no plans on using them.
Why an infight entertainment system would even have an embedded camera is still a puzzle. Some comments suggested that either Singapore Air or the unnamed OEM simply repurposed cheap tablets, almost all of which do have front-facing cameras. Regardless, the presence of an eye always looking at you is pretty unnerving once you know about it.
Even giving Singapore Airlines the benefit of the doubt, those cameras can still become a liability. The fix couldn’t be simpler though. Just tape over those cameras lest passengers start taping over those themselves. Presuming that’s even legal.