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Beware! As The Seat-Back Entertainment System on Your Flight Can Watch You

A passenger on a Singapore flight posted a photo of the seat-back display last week, and the tweet was shared several hundred times and drew media notice. Buzzfeed first reported that the cameras are also on some American planes.

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American Airlines aircraft sit at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, June 16, 2018. Newer seat-back entertainment systems on some airplanes operated by American Airlines and Singapore Airlines have cameras, and it’s likely they are also on plane. VOA

Now there is one more place where cameras could be watching you — from 30,000 feet.

Newer seat-back entertainment systems on some airplanes operated by American Airlines and Singapore Airlines have cameras, and it’s likely they are also on planes used by other carriers.

American and Singapore both said Friday that they have never activated the cameras and have no plans to use them.

However, companies that make the entertainment systems are installing cameras to offer future options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman.

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Newer seat-back entertainment systems on some airplanes operated by American Airlines and Singapore Airlines have cameras, and it’s likely they are also on planes used by other carriers. Pixabay

Cameras standard features

The airlines stressed that they didn’t add the cameras — manufacturers embedded them in the entertainment systems. American’s systems are made by Panasonic, while Singapore uses Panasonic and Thales, according to airline representatives. Neither Panasonic nor Thales responded immediately for comment.

As they shrink, cameras are being built into more devices, including laptops and smartphones. The presence of cameras in aircraft entertainment systems was known in aviation circles at least two years ago, although not among the traveling public.

Seth Miller, a journalist who wrote about the issue in 2017, thinks that equipment makers didn’t consider the privacy implications. There were already cameras on planes, although not so intrusive, and the companies assumed that passengers would trade their images for convenience, as they do with facial-recognition technology at immigration checkpoints, he said.

“Now they’re facing blowback from a small but vocal group questioning the value of the system that isn’t even active,” Miller said.

American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said cameras are in “premium economy” seats on 82 Boeing 777 and Airbus A330-200 jets. American has nearly 1,000 planes.

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The airlines stressed that they didn’t add the cameras — manufacturers embedded them in the entertainment systems. American’s systems are made by Panasonic, while Singapore uses Panasonic and Thales, according to airline representatives. Neither Panasonic nor Thales responded immediately for comment. Pixabay

“Cameras are a standard feature on many in-flight entertainment systems used by multiple airlines,” he said.

Also Read: Samsung to Launch Tablet Folded Smartphone for $2000

Singapore spokesman James Boyd said cameras are on 84 Airbus A350s, Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s and 787s. The carrier has 117 planes.

Cameras not turned on

While the airlines say they have no plans to use the cameras, a Twitter user named Vitaly Kamluk, who snapped the photo of the camera on his Singapore flight, suggested that just to be sure the carriers should slap stickers over the lenses.

“The cameras are probably not used now,” he tweeted. “But if they are wired, operational, bundled with mic, it’s a matter of one smart hack to use them on 84+ aircrafts and spy on passengers.” (VOA)

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Boeing Makes Demand for 2,380 Aircraft In India

An expected demand of 2,380 new airplanes is being made by Boeing by 2038

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Demand for aircrafts
Boeing expects a demand for 2,380 new aircraft in India, valued at $330 billion by 2038. Pixabay

Global aerospace major Boeing expects a demand for 2,380 new aircraft in India, valued at $330 billion, over the next 20 years.

According to the Boeing’s annual India Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) 2019, factors such as exponential domestic passenger traffic growth, new long-haul opportunities and infrastructure development will lead to the fulfilment of the demand forecast.

“To operate and maintain the expanding fleet, operators are expected to spend $440 billion on aviation services, including ground, station and cargo operations, along with maintenance and engineering,” the 2019 India CMO said.

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To operate and maintain the expanding fleet, operators are expected to spend $440 billion on aviation services including maintenance of aircraft. Pixabay

“In India, single-aisles will lead the demand for airplane deliveries — comprising 87 per cent of all new airplanes — to meet requirements for domestic network connections and service to new airports.

“Wide-body airplanes will make up 13 per cent of new airplane deliveries, helping to enable new long-range flights.”

Also Read- Qantas Completes Test of Longest Non-Stop Passenger Flight

As per the CMO, many of the new airplanes will replace aging aircraft and help operators grow their network as India’s airplane fleet is projected to quadruple in size to approximately 2,500 aircraft by 2038. (IANS)