Airline monitors passengers with cameras

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Airline monitors passengers with cameras.

Cathay Pacific has raised many eyebrows after it revealed it is monitoring passengers with in-flight CCTVs as well as cameras set up at its airport lounges.

The Hong Kong-based airline stated that this is being done to aid customer support, improve products and services and ensure safety and security of those onboard. “All images are handled sensitively with strict access controls,” Time quoted Cathay Pacific spokesperson as saying in CNN Travel.

The spokesperson clarified that the cameras onboard the flights are set up around the aircraft and are not embedded into the backs of seats. With the announcement, Cathay becomes the latest airline to confirm the surveillance of passengers on flights.

Last year, carriers including American Airlines and Singapore Airlines said their aircrafts have cameras in the seat-back entertainment systems, but added that they are not activated.

It must be noted that according to the privacy statement released in July, the collected data is shared with third party groups including industry partners such as hotel and travel operators for marketing purposes, and is also used for “legal and administrative purposes”.

Although the airline has said that personal data is stored on secure servers, there is concern as it cannot be “guaranteed to be secure from intrusion”. Last year, the personal information of nine million Cathay Pacific passengers, including their phone numbers and passport numbers, was potentially leaked due to a data breach, according to CNN.

Aviation News