Invasion Of Privacy: Outrage Over Leaked Emporium Cinema Recordings

Social media is abuzz with users discussing the recent breach in privacy carried out by Emporium Cinema in Lahore. Recently, videos recorded by cameras inside the cinema’s halls had been doing the rounds on social media which showed couples present inside the cinema engaged in intimate acts.

Social media had erupted in outrage over this violation of privacy. The incident had resulted in a debate, with one side invoking public indecency while the other side called into conversation the right to privacy.

Many were also of the view that there are issues that should receive more attention such as rape and sexual harassment. Others argued the existence of such serious issues does not mean people should not express their thoughts about less severe issues. After all, the right to not have your privacy violated is as important as other fundamental rights.

Public Policy specialist Salman Sufi made a tweet saying that the video recordings of citizens from cinema halls was a violation of law, and demanded that these videos be deleted immediately. He expressed his intention to launch lawsuits against establishment of those theatres whose staff was involved in recording such videos.

In response, some had argued that privacy was a privilege which you lose when you engage in such acts in public. Others opposed this view, stating that privacy is a right that cannot be ignored in any case. Senator Ayesha Raza took to Twitter in support of the latter view.

Another user was of the view that such an act based in negligence and malice has the potential to destroy so many lives.

Some have called for punishment for cinema halls that leak such videos, supplementing the argument that this was a blatant violation of privacy.

Moreover, the question of whether there exist laws against organizations ‘stocking up’ on such footage.

Human rights lawyer Nighat Dad was of the view that there exists a lack of awareness about such matters and there is no accountability of organisations engaging in such acts. She said that it was due to this that we require data protection laws.

If recording is necessary due to security concerns, there should be a warning for cinema goers to make them aware of the existence of security cameras. Nighat shared a similar view on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Salman Sufi announced on Twitter that his efforts had partially bore fruit and the managements of Cinepax and Packages Mall had agreed to put signs about cameras and give access only to the CEO of the IT department.

Salman Sufi’s efforts were appreciated. Academic Nida Kirmani commended his stance against hyper-surveillance.

In an age where we see a proliferation of surveillance, our privacy is increasingly being curtailed. There is a need for people to resist violations of privacy in the name of security.


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