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Safeguarding a person's privacy

  • In order to more effectively and comprehensively protect the privacy of the underprivileged and vulnerable groups, it is utterly essential for the government to draw up the relevant laws.

Sin Chew Daily

The government is mulling to criminalize acts of privacy infringement in a bid to protect the privacy of individuals, in particular women and children.

Such acts will expose vulnerable women and children to tremendous hazards, and effective laws to protect them are therefore mandatory.

Thanks to breakneck development in communication devices and technologies, any smartphone can be turned into a tool to violate an individual's privacy.

Remote surveillance cameras which are easily available at online stores will not only allow house owners to monitor their properties any time of the day through their smartphones, but will also allow the users to peep into the private lives of other individuals.

While technology helps improve our living and well-being, it can be abused by irresponsible people to become a potent weapon to prowl or infringe on other people's privacy.

One of the reasons women are easy targets of such acts is that women in non-marriage relationships are often excluded from the law's protection. Women who suffer psychological disturbances as a consequence of sexual abuse by intimate male partners normally cannot gain access to the necessary assistance.

Due to deficiencies of our law, many victims have opted not to lodge police reports for fear of being inflicted with further harms, especially when they have to bear witness in the court.

As a result, many perpetrators have been able to escape the sanction of the law easily.

For instance, when a man poses indecent pictures or videos of a woman on the social media and uses that as a threat to force submission, the woman may feel instantly intimidated, but as there has been no physical contacts in this whole thing, it will be very difficult for her to implicate him.

Taking unauthorized pictures or videos or doctoring the same using technologies such as Deepfake which has become a heated subject recently as a result of the sex video scandal involving a cabinet minister and a deputy minister's senior private secretary, can be exploited by irresponsible people to tarnish the image or reputation of other people.

The victims will normally be subjected to tremendous physical as well as psychological stress, and could even go to the extent of ending their own lives in more severe cases.

Every individual has the right to reject any unauthorized surveillance and prevent his or her privacy or personal information from being exposed to the public.

In order to more effectively and comprehensively protect the privacy of the underprivileged and vulnerable groups, it is utterly essential for the government to draw up the relevant laws.

However, we need to strike a balance when legislating a law to ensure that an individual's privacy will not be violated. At the same time, the interests of some individuals may have to be sacrificed so that the rights and interests of more people are protected. This includes the legality of surveillance cameras and vehicle dashcams.

Owing to the complexity of the actual circumstances, it is imperative that various industries and parties are consulted in the process of legislating a law for maximal protective effects instead of putting restrictions on the enforcement authorizes.

 

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