Cathay Pacific accused of recording videos of passengers and keeping the footage

Cathay Pacific has admitted using CCTV cameras to record and retain information on their passengers' behaviour.

An investigation by Forbes says the airline's new privacy policy allows it to "compile a database with detailed information on passengers' use of in-flight entertainment systems, including - but not limited to - images recorded by seatback cameras, customers' activities at airport terminals and even data obtained about membership activity in competing hotel and airline loyalty programs." 

A copy of the policy, which is available on the Cathay Pacific website, says the Hong Kong-based airline retains information in relation to "use of our inflight entertainment system and inflight connectivity, your images captured via CCTV in our airport lounges and aircraft."

Cathay Pacific confirmed to CNN that it records passengers using onboard CCTV cameras, but denied cameras located within the in-flight entertainment systems were used for recording.

The company also said there were no cameras located in its onboard toilets.

A Cathay Pacific spokesperson has told Newshub their use of CCTV cameras was in-line with industry standards to protect staff and customers.

"Our inflight entertainment systems do not have any cameras, microphones or sensors to monitor passengers, nor have they in the past."

Earlier this year, passenger privacy was called into question after a series of airlines were revealed to have cameras located within the seatback entertainment systems. 

Singapore Airlines, one of the airlines involved, stated at the time that a new version of inflight entertainment equipment installed on its aircraft did include a camera, but nothing was connected to the camera in order to be able to use it for recording.

"These cameras have been disabled on our aircraft, and there are no plans to develop any features using the cameras," the airline said.

It later added that the cameras were provided by the original equipment manufacturers.

American Airlines and United Airlines had also installed the entertainment systems with cameras fitted, but also claimed they weren't connected or in use.