Emirates denies report inflight TV system is used to record passengers

Dubai carrier confirms cameras in IFE have never been activated
Emirates denies report inflight TV system is used to record passengers
By Gavin Gibbon
Thu 22 Aug 2019 10:21 AM

Emirates has denied using its inflight entertainment system to record passengers.

Reports from a media outlet in New Zealand had suggested the Dubai carrier has “been filming unsuspecting passengers through their in-flight entertainment systems”.

However, Emirates told Arabian Business, although cameras form part of the IFE, it was not a policy to use them by the airline as yet.

A spokesperson said: “Some of our 777 aircraft have cameras that came pre-installed with the inflight entertainment (IFE) hardware that we had purchased from the manufacturer (Panasonic). It was originally meant for seat-to-seat video calls, however Emirates has never activated it."

Earlier this month, a spokesperson for Hong Kong airline Cathay pacific revealed it is recording passenger activity via its inflight entertainment (IFE) systems and video cameras.

The airline told CNN Travel that images are not captured from embedded seat-back cameras, but images of passengers are collected while they are on board and data is collected through the IFE, looking at how they spend their time during the flight.

"In line with standard practice and to protect our customers and frontline staff, there are CCTV cameras installed in our airport lounges and onboard aircraft (one camera, positioned near the cockpit door) for security purposes," the spokesperson said.

They are further quoted as saying: “Our inflight entertainment systems do not have any cameras, microphones or sensors to monitor passengers, nor have they in the past."

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