In February, a passenger on Singapore Airlines flight noticed something that made him uneasy: a small camera, facing directly from him in the in-flight entertainment system.
Since then, airlines have confirmed that cameras and microphones are being installed on some planes. They say the devices are permanently disabled, and at current spying by airlines has yet been made public. Still, many passengers are concerned about the potential loss of this technology.
US. Late. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore, wants answers. He's the co-sponsor of the new Passenger Privacy Protection Act of 2019, which aims to prohibit these cameras on US flights. He recently spoke with OPB's “Weekend Edition” and said the cameras represent an inappropriate invasion of passenger privacy.
“We have so little privacy in this world anyway, we really need big brother in the form of the airlines watching us?”
The proposed legislation would ensure that microphones and cameras are either removed from U.S. planes or permanently covered
Merkley also sent letters to eight major U.S. airlines and 1
Beyond potential privacy violations by the airlines themselves, They could potentially be used by foreign governments at U.S. citizens.
"In a number of countries, they routinely work on the camera and microphone on your cellphone to spy on you with your own device," Merkley said. "There is no doubt that they could use these systems on board."
Use the audio player above to hear the full conversation from OPB's "Weekend Edition."