Cathay Pacific reveals plane passengers will now be monitored by onboard cameras

Cathay Pacific flights will now be using CCTV cameras to monitor passengers who travel with them. The move to include inboard cameras was revealed in the Hong Kong airline’s updated privacy policy. The online document explains the “personal data” the carrier collects from its customers. Along with a wealth of personal and payment details, Cathay Pacific will now film passengers.

Cathay Pacific flights: Passengers to be filmed with CCTV on planes for ‘security purposes’

CCTV cameras will be in operation in both aircraft and airport lounges, the airline explained.

Its privacy policy states that “your images captured via CCTV in our airport lounges and aircraft,” are among the personal data they’ll collect.

This data information will be stored by the carrier for “as long as necessary.”

The policy states: “We will retain your Personal Data for as long as is necessary for the processing purpose(s) for which it was collected and any other permitted linked purpose (for example where we are required to retain personal data for longer than the purpose for which we originally collected it in order to comply with certain regulatory requirements).

“Our retention periods are based on business needs and your information that is no longer needed is either irreversibly anonymised (and the anonymised information will be retained) or securely destroyed. “

Cathay’s policy provides a number of reasons why personal data is accrued, including: “To ensure the safety and security of all our staff and passengers and to undertake any necessary activities during emergency events.”

Data collected isn’t just used by the airline, either, as Cathay Pacific explains: “In certain circumstances, we will disclose your Personal Data to third parties.”

The policy continues: “No data transmission over the Internet, a website, mobile application or via email or other message service can be guaranteed to be secure from intrusion.

“However, we maintain commercially reasonable physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your Personal Data in accordance with the requirements of data protection legislation.”

It adds: “Your Personal Data may be transferred outside the country in which you are located, including to countries with a lower level of data protection than in the country in which you are located.”

The airline will not be installing CCTV in plane toilets, however, the airline confirmed to CNN Travel.

A Cathay Pacific spokesperson told India Today: “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. All images are handled sensitively with strict access controls.”

The spokesperson also said, “Our inflight entertainment systems do not have any cameras, microphones or sensors to monitor passengers, nor have they in the past.” has contacted Cathay Pacific for further comment on the increased monitoring.

The news comes just under a year after Cathay Pacific announced the discovery of a major data breach when unauthorised accessed to the personal data of 9.4 million passengers was unveiled. 

Cyber hackers managed to access passenger names, nationalities, dates of birth, phone numbers, emails, addresses, passport numbers, identity card numbers, frequent flyer programme membership numbers, customer service remarks and historical travel information.

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