Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
SINGAPORE — Smile! You’re on Candid Camera, or at least it seems like it onboard Singapore Airlines, which was recently outed for having small cameras embedded in its entertainment monitors.
The discovery was first made by passenger Vitaly Kamluk, who snapped a pic of the camera and posted it on Twitter. It didn’t take long for the Twitter-verse to respond in full, with concerned citizens calling out the airline for invasion of privacy.
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? pic.twitter.com/vy0usqruZG
— Vitaly Kamluk (@vkamluk) February 17, 2019
— Tarah (@tarah) February 18, 2019
Singapore Airlines had no choice but to respond, saying: “We would like to share that 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.”
The airline also responded to another passenger who asked whether the cameras were limited to premium cabins: “The cameras are in selected Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class. We would like to share that they have been permanently disabled on our aircraft and cannot be activated on board. We have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras.”
According to a Singapore Airlines spokesman, the systems were manufactured by Panasonic and Thales and can be found on the Airbus 350, A380, Boeing 777-300ER and B787-10.
Despite the fact that the cameras have been disabled, passengers are still feeling a bit uneasy. May we suggest packing some post-its or black tape in your carryon to cover the camera on your flight? That should definitely do the trick.