Perhaps I need to write, or at least read, more attention grabbing headlines like the one this weekend from BuzzFeedNews.com – United Airlines Covers Creepy Cameras On Its Seatback Screens Following Outcry. I did not realize this is an issue making the media rounds in recent months with seatback cameras installed on monitors in new premium seats on aircraft with several major carriers like American, Delta and United.
In recent weeks the seatback camera issue has been published in USA Today and CNN, following a slew of February 2019 reports in major outlets like CBS News, Forbes, LA Times (featuring quotes from Seth Miller-Boarding Area blogger who brought up the issue in 2017), and BizJournals. One of the more entertaining pieces is from CNET.com with verbal imagery of “screaming children hurling box casserole into their seatback camera”.
The industry response is cameras have not been activated and were included in seatback monitors for potential future services like video conferencing. I can picture being seated next to some annoying business workaholic talking loudly at a monitor as I am trying to watch a film or sleep.
The issue has even caught the attention of the U.S. Senate with a bipartisan proposal from Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley and Louisiana Republican John Kennedy proposing legislation to safeguard passenger privacy in the air.
Airplane seat cameras: US senators demand answers – CNN (April 23, 2019).
I guess the simple solution to seatback camera privacy concerns is stick with flying Ryanair.