According to a statement obtained by Fox News, a United Airlines spokeswoman claimed “none of these cameras were ever activated, and we had no plans to use them in the future; however, we took the additional step to cover the cameras. The cameras are a standard feature that manufacturers of the system included for possible future purposes such as video conferencing."
Controversy around the built-in cameras arose when a passenger discovered a camera embedded in the in-flight monitor of a Singapore Airlines plane. The cameras were discovered on the airlines' newer planes, Forbes reported. The airline said on Twitter that the cameras are in "selected Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class." At the time, the company said the cameras were disabled and that there were no plans to use them.
According to an airline spokesman, cited by Forbes, the cameras can be found on the Airbus 350, A-380 and other planes in the fleet’s Panasonic entertainment systems.