A week after Singapore Airlines confirmed that its entertainment screens at its headquarters were equipped with integrated cameras, a similar confirmation was provided by United Airlines and Delta. Airliners have confirmed that some of their on-budget entertainment screens, particularly those in the premium economy class, are equipped with on-board cameras, but claim that they are not activated and that there are no plans to use them.
The issue of cameras for air travelers surfaced for the first time last week with a report of cameras on entertainment screens in Singapore Airlines aircraft. The airline confirmed the cameras and soon after another report revealed that similar cameras could be found on American Airlines' entertainment systems.
In a statement to BuzzFeedDelta and United Airlines have both confirmed that their back-seat entertainment systems also contain cameras, but both say the cameras are not active. As stated in the Singapore Airlines explanation, the manufacturer has included the cameras in the devices.
For its part, Delta said that the cameras were not activated and that it was not planned to add the necessary software for the use of cameras. United provided a similar statement, explaining that cameras are embedded in entertainment systems "for potential purposes, such as video conferencing."
Both statements are similar to a comment from American Airlines BuzzFeed last week. According to this airline, the cameras are not activated and the airline does not plan to use them; rather, they are built into the system for possible future use, which may include the use of hand gestures to control the system.
Cameras have been controversial among travelers, with some fearing that unauthorized parties may use them during the trip. Others say that even if they do not care about the cameras, they are unhappy that the airlines have not disclosed their presence.