A man has been charged with video voyeurism after a camera was found in the first-class toilet of a US airplane.

The incident happened on May 5 on a United Airlines flight from San Diego to Houston.

A passenger noticed the camera in the toilet mid-flight, when she saw its blinking blue light.

She retrieved the device using a paper towel and handed it to cabin crew.

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According to court documents, once they arrived in Houston, the crew passed the device to airport security, who then reviewed the footage.

It revealed a man installing the device in the bathroom in first class on that same flight.

Officials couldn't see the man's face, but were able to identify him by matching distinctive details on his clothing to airport security footage.

He was identified as Choon Ping Lee, a Malaysian citizen working for Halliburton in the US.

The FBI were able to recover more files from the device that showed women in another airplane bathroom, this time on an Emirates flight.

Halliburton issued the following statement: "Halliburton is aware of the situation and is cooperating with the FBI and US Attorney's office in their investigation. We have a robust code of business conduct and expect every employee to abide by the standards contained in the code and all applicable laws."

Advances in video technology have seen an increase in the use of spy cameras, with many able to transmit video live to another device, such as a cellphone.

Earlier this year, Wellington man Nigel Edgecombe was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison after an investigation revealed hundreds of videos and images of 90 women showering, changing and using the bathroom, ranging from late 2013 to mid 2018.

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Edgecombe had set up a camera in a two-way mirror at his home and recorded women in his bathroom.

Judge Ian Mill said it was clear Edgecombe was a "supreme manipulator".

"You gave an impression of being an empathetic person, but that was a sham."