A cinema in Lahore has released CCTV footage of dating couples which has left citizens outraged. Pakistanis have started to raise questions over the privacy rights of individuals after surveillance footage, showing couples engaged in intimacy, started doing rounds on social media.
The leaked footages, along with screen grabs were shared on various media including YouTube. However, the footage posted on YouTube has been removed for violating its policy on nudity or sexual content.
The matter was brought to light by former director-general of the Punjab chief minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit and activist Salman Sufi, via a tweet and later by appearing on various news channels.
“Just found that video recordings of citizens from cinema halls in Pakistan have been shared around. This is not acceptable and is a violation of [the] law. We demand that all theatres/public places delete all video recordings that have no recorded safety threat as soon as possible,” he wrote.
Important thread: Just found that video recordings of citizens from cinema halls in #Pakistan have been shared around.This is NOT acceptable and is a violation of law. We demand that all theaters/Public places delete ALL video recordings that have no recorded safety threat ASAP pic.twitter.com/ZeeKpjhTSn
— Salman Sufi (@SalmanSufi7) 30 August 2019
He also said a non-disclosure agreement should be added to every ticket that is purchased, which will give citizens the right to not allow the management to keep their recordings. “This is a serious breach of our privacy right and can never be allowed”, he said.
On Twitter, Sufi said he intends to file a lawsuit against the establishment of the theatre behind the act. He launched the movement #PrivacyIsARight to safeguard the privacy of Pakistanis with a specific set of demands.
Citizens-Netizens-Join us as we continue the movement to safeguard our privacy in public places. These are the set of rules we request every public facility to follow. Please share them as widely as possible so no entity records our families unsafely & leaks it. #PrivacyIsARight pic.twitter.com/Pi64LYvfBx
— Salman Sufi (@SalmanSufi7) 31 August 2019
Further more, Cinepax CEO Mariam El Bacha has released a statement to show their support for the #PrivacyIsARight movement.
While the privacy laws are imperative, this incident has also sparked a debate about whether people should engage in such behaviour in a public place.