Oh good grief – this is just ridiculous. INC.com on Tuesday published a piece about the now viral info (most of us knew about this already, but did not care) about Delta and other airlines new IFE (inflight entertainment) screens having built in cameras. It was titled: “Here’s a Secret Reason to Carry a Bandage Strip on Air Flights“. Really? Really INC? Sigh. This was enough to push me to blog about this silly non-issue.
First things first, if you have been living under a rock, Delta in their A350 Delta One Suites as well as their new A220 jets has IFE units that is basically a tablet and those tablets include a built in camera. However, notice what BizJournals.com says about them (from a Delta rep):
“A limited number of Delta in-flight entertainment screens have cameras that were included by the manufacturer,” said a Delta spokesperson. “They are not functional and Delta does not have any plans to install the necessary software to use them.” – bizjournals.com
So they are off. Oh but wait, this is not the first time Delta jets have been caught with cameras pointed at you in the cabin (and you would be right). Back in 2015 Delta had some jets that had cameras pointed at the 1st class cabin and it did freak a lot of folks out. But, like the new IFE cams, they were not functional.
INC is telling you to basically stick a Band-Aid over the cameras so that you can be sure any of the airlines with these built in screen camera are not turned on (after all how would you know) and videoing you in your seat. Again, really?
Let’s think about this for a bit. First off, I do not think any airline would like you potentially damaging their equipment by sticking anything that is not 100% removable to it. I guess you can make the argument that a Band-Aid is removable but I bet it leaves behind some sticky glue (unlike my GhettoIFE pads that do not). Beyond that, what in the world could you be doing in an airline seat (in open public) that you would want kept private? Let’s face it – folks take photos on jets all the time. Every time you are in an airport there are video cameras everywhere! I promise you on any trip you are going to be in hours and hours of video from the time you leave your home to the time you arrive at wherever you are going.
Honestly, what difference would it make if Delta videoed you in your airplane seat?
But there are times video can get a little bit creepy. As a blogger / Vlogger I spend a lot of time taking photos and video when I travel. I have a steady cam rig I often fly with so that I can get reasonable video as I say walk around a cruise ship or walk through a lounge. It is almost impossible to not have travelers in those shots. Where it can get a bit weird is taking photos in a bathroom. I would never (unless I first checked it was empty) video in a bathroom – that is just icky and weird. But what else?
I also spend a lot of time reviewing the hotels I stay at. My wife is quite accustomed to the fact that when we arrive at a room we never make ourselves at home until I have either shot photos or video (or done both). It is just part of our way of life. I also check to make sure the room is clean and neat and does not have bed bugs etc. But one thing I do not do is check for hidden cameras (maybe I should). A camera in a hotel room? THAT would be something to go CRAZY over and would be national news if either the hotel installed it or someone else did nefariously.
But you tell me now that this story has been out for a week or so and you have had a chance to think on the subject. Do you care at all that Delta has cameras in some of their IFE systems? Would you care if they turned them on and either A) told you they are on or B) did not tell you they are on? I would love to know! – René