Cathay Pacific Installs Cameras inside Its Aircraft

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. itinerary / aɪˈtɪn əˈrɛr i / (n) – a list of places to visit and activities to do during a trip

    It says in our detailed itinerary that we’ll be visiting two museums after we go to the zoo.

  2. indefinitely / ɪnˈdɛf ə nɪt li / (adv) – for a period of time that has no specified end

    We’re not sure when our old computer will be fixed, so we’ll be using this replacement indefinitely.

  3. guarantee / ˌgær ənˈti / (n) – a promise or assurance that something will happen

    She gave a letter with her signature as a guarantee that she will pay her debt.

  4. put (something) to good use / pʊt tʊ gʊd yus / (idiom) – to use something in a beneficial way

    Please make sure that they put my donations to good use.

  5. disclose / dɪˈskloʊz / (v) – to reveal something to someone

    We should never disclose our bank information to people we don’t know.


Read the text below.

Cathay Pacific has installed cameras inside its airplanes and airport lounges to monitor passengers.

Last July, the Hong Kong-based airline updated its privacy policy, stating that it will be collecting and keeping track of passengers’ personal information. This includes the photos and itinerary of passengers, as well as their use of in-flight entertainment and other activities at the airport. All of the information collected will be stored by the airline indefinitely.

The airline said that its customers’ personal information is kept on secure servers, but it admitted that there is no guarantee that those servers are safe from being hacked.

Last year, the airline’s system was hacked, and the data of around 9.4 million customers were affected. The customers’ physical addresses, passport information, phone numbers, and credit card details were stolen. Hence, the new policy update raised concerns about customer privacy.

To explain, a Cathay Pacific representative said that each aircraft has only one installed CCTV camera, which is located near the area where the pilot sits. The representative added that the airline’s in-flight entertainment systems do not have sensors, cameras, or microphones that monitor passengers.

Cathay Pacific reassured its customers that it will put the data it collected to good use. The airline said that customers’ personal information will be used to improve and personalize its products and services for each passenger. However, Cathay Pacific added that it may disclose any information it collects to its service providers, airline and hotel partners, travel operators, and even the government, if necessary.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you still fly with an airline after finding out that it will collect information such as those mentioned in the article (e.g. your itinerary, in-flight entertainment use, and photos)? Why or why not?
• Do you think that collecting information like those mentioned above would help keep airplanes safe and secure? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, is it fair for service providers to collect their clients’ personal information and share it with other companies or the government? Why or why not?
• Would you agree to let any service provider hold on to your personal information indefinitely? Why or why not?