Outrage as cinema leaks moviegoers’ videos

Social media and rights activists launch campaign with hashtag #PrivacyIsRight on Twitter to lodge their protest

LAHORE - A private cinema in city came under severe criticism after it leaked movie goers’ ‘objectionable’ videos a day ago.

Social media and rights activists later ran a campaign with hashtag #PrivacyIsRight on Twitter to lodge their protest.

A number of night-vision ‘explicit videos of couples’ went viral on Facebook and Twitter of a private cinema that received response from privacy activists demanding video recordings should not be used for exploitation as it were for surveillance purpose.

Public Policy and Development Specialist Salman Sufi launched the campaign in collaboration with Digital Rights Movement’s Nighat Dad and demanded a number of measures must be taken by the private cinema company to ensure the privacy.

Demands included, “If you have a recording device at your facility then install clear signage advising citizens of that so they can opt out of staying there. If you are recording, delete all footage at end of day. Staff in-charge or video footage must be vetted and trained and not to be allowed unauthorized access to recoding. There must be no video recording in changing rooms or washrooms. Any leak of video shall be blamed on the management of the facility.”

Salman Sufi told The Nation, “We will continue to raise our voice for 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 and leaks it.”

“Families also visited public places and recording their videos without their consent and without informing them is unethical. There should be privacy and recordings in cinemas should not be used for exploitation,” he said.

“We will be sending these guidelines to all private establishments to follow and in case of non compliance we will urge the public to boycott the establishments that do not respect their privacy. It’s time to take this battle of our rights to its logical conclusion,” he stressed.

Later, the cinema issued a statement, “All our cinemas are recorded to ensure safety of our customers. We will communicate with appropriate signage in our locations that our premises are being recorded. We never record private areas like bathrooms, or staff changing room. They save recordings for 15 days as their own company policy for audit inspections and customer’s lost and found items.

“We have also our crew in place inside the cinema checking if customers are recording movies on the phone and behaving wrongly,” the cinema company’s CEO Mairam EL Bacha said in a statement posted on Twitter.

It is pertinent to mention that in January a similar incident also surfaced when pictures of citizens in their cars circulated on social media allegedly recorded from Lahore Safe City project installed camera.


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