The folks in the UK aren't laissez-faire about this Big Brother thing one bit, them and Germany are throwing £25 million (bout $49 million US) at the "problem" of monitoring airline passengers with small cameras and microphones in every single seat back to monitor for suspicious behavior. The system will be able to detect rapid eye movements, excessive blinking, twitches, whispers or other symptoms of somebody trying to conceal something, and check the data against individual passenger profiles for alerting the crew to a potential terrorist. Airlines and privacy advocates aren't terribly stoked about the idea, with the airlines saying it'll take 10 years to outfit planes with such systems and the money would be better spent "on preventing terrorists boarding aircraft in the first place." Privacy people figure that "it will put people off flying because they will feel uncomfortable." However, Catherine Neary, the project team leader assures that under the Data Protection Act, all audio and video recordings will be destroyed at the end of each flight. That makes it all better, right?
[Via Smart Mobs]