The Singapore Airlines insisted Thursday that cameras on its planes' entertainment systems had been disabled after an outcry online from worried passengers who spotted the tiny lenses peering at them.
The presence of cameras was first reported on February 17.
"Just found this interesting sensor looking at me from the seat back on board of Singapore Airlines. Any expert opinion of whether is a camera?" passenger Vitaly Kamluk tweeted.
Just found this interesting sensor looking at me from the seat back on board of Singapore Airlines. Any expert opinion of whether this a camera? Perhaps @SingaporeAir could clarify how it is used? pic.twitter.com/vy0usqruZG— Vitaly Kamluk (@vkamluk) February 17, 2019
More travellers then took to Twitter and other social media to raise the alarm over the cameras at the bottom of seatback screens on a number of the Singapore flag carrier's newer aircraft.
Vitaly Kamluk's tweet was accompanied by photos of the monitor with the embedded camera.
Another passenger urged the airline in a tweet to "notify all your passengers and get their consent, particularly EU residents, that you are doing this, why, what are you doing with the data and how long you keep it".
The airline confirmed that some of its latest inflight entertainment systems did have fixed cameras -- but assured passengers that they had been disabled.
"These cameras have been intended by the manufacturers for future developments. These cameras have been permanently disabled on our aircraft and cannot be activated on board," the Singapore Airlines said in a statement.
It also replied to Vitaly Kamluk's tweet.
Noted with thanks, @SingaporeAir. I really like your IFE system and quality of the content. Keep security of your passengers up! It’s best to disable these cameras physically until you decide to use them, i.e. with a simple sticker. Thank you! 🙏🏻 https://t.co/leibNF3NgT— Vitaly Kamluk (@vkamluk) February 17, 2019
"We have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras.