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Privacy and Security

The topic for this module is privacy and security. As we can expect, there are challenges in maintaining secure devices as consumers as well as providing a secure network as a service provider. This provider could be the local coffee shop or a multi-million dollar aircraft. One area of interest is the In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems on these aircraft which may be connected to the same network as the navigation and control systems. Let’s look at an IFE testing process in a modern aircraft by watching this video.

Pushing 787 In-flight Entertainment System to the Limit (YouTube – 2:27)

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In addition to the onboard IFE, passengers also carry with them an array of personal electronics: smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices, etc. So today’s traveler may well be using electronics almost from gate to gate.

One might ask, with travelers bringing with them so many devices on board (BYOD), what changes are we seeing with IFE systems? To answer that, here is an excerpt on IFE from an airline market business analysis (Cision PR Newswire):

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  • Key airlines across the globe are replacing heavy cablings and screens with onboard Wi-Fi systems for passengers to accommodate the BYOD model, thereby reducing the overall weight of the aircraft.
  • There has been an increasing trend of passengers bringing their Personal Electronic Devices (PED) on board and willing to pay an additional fee for using Wi-Fi during the flight.
  • Moreover, there is an upsurge in the demand for streaming live TV onboard directly on the passengers’ devices, ultimately creating lucrative growth opportunities for the in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) market.
  • In an attempt to retain a competitive edge, major airlines worldwide are embracing the replacement of conventional seatback IFE systems with wireless in-flight entertainment systems.
  • Passenger’s demand for IFE has now transformed from the traditional “please entertain me” into a more contemporary “I want to entertain myself” attitude.
  • Leading service providers are forming long-term partnerships with the airlines to provide wider coverage and capacity.
  • Growing adoption of in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems by low-cost carriers (LCCs) to enhance the passenger experience in short-haul flights.
  • Using wireless, in place of wired networks, have substantial compensations for the airlines, such as weight saving due to the abolition of cabling, thereby enabling simpler installation, and reducing fuel and maintenance costs.


For this discussion, noting the extent to which we are connected to the Internet, at home, while in class, or even in flight, what is your approach to protecting your privacy when online? What measures do you take to safeguard your computer and other devices? And at home, detail and explain what router security settings you choose to apply. 

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