Smile on Cathay Pacific flight; you’re on camera

Flying can add a smile to your face if you’re a first-time flyer. If you’re not, still you can smile on a Cathay Pacific flight because you might just be on camera. The Hong Kong carrier has revealed; it uses onboard cameras. While this has fueled new privacy concerns, the airline has updated its privacy policy as well.

CCTV cameras on Cathay Pacific flight
CCTV cameras on Cathay Pacific flight

CCTV cameras on Cathay Pacific flight

The Hong Kong-based airline recently revealed it records passengers who fly with them using on-board CCTV cameras. Passengers on Cathay Pacific flight can expect their itinerary information, travel companions, purchase of duty free items, their on-board activities and usage of the in-flight entertainment system to be recorded by the airline. CCTV cameras are installed in its airport lounges and on-board aircraft. Well, you can find one positioned near the cockpit door but not on seat-backs. The inflight entertainment systems do not have any cameras, microphones or sensors to monitor passengers. Also there’s none installed in the lavatories.

Data used to aid customer support, ensure safety and security on board

The carrier outlined its information gathering in an updated privacy policy. In its privacy policy, the airline says the data collection was designed to improve the flying experience with additional personalization. Whereas all images are handled sensitively with strict access controls, the data could be shared with third-party partners for marketing purposes.

Privacy risk for passengers?

While CCTV surveillance is accepted by most of the airlines as a reassuring security measure, passengers feel tracking them in the confines of an airplane cabin is a step too far. Moreover, Cathay Pacific has an uneven record when it comes to digital privacy. Though the collected data is stored on secure servers, no data transmission over the internet, website, mobile application or via email can be guaranteed to be secure from intrusion.

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