Livestreaming content from public places should be curbed: Chinese media

Shuidi said it had permission from the owners of the establishments, but it still infringes on customers' privacy.
Shuidi said it had permission from the owners of the establishments, but it still infringes on customers' privacy. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SHUIDI WEBSITE

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Shuidi, a livestreaming platform affiliated to Qihoo 360 Technology Co, has been found to livestream content from public places such as restaurants and shopping malls without obtaining the permission of customers, according to Beijing News on Wednesday (Dec 13).

Although the livestreaming platform responded by saying that it has the permission from the owners of the establishments, and it posts signs notifying customers they are being filmed when its CCTV cameras are in use, its behaviour, however, still infringes on customers' privacy.

People have the right to privacy and their consent to be livestreamed is needed. A simple notice of livestreaming does not equate to permission being granted by customers.

If permission cannot be obtained from all the customers, then there is a violation of the privacy rights of some.

Although there are laws and regulations in China to protect people's privacy, the cost to safeguard legal rights and interests is comparatively high, and it is difficult to calculate the loss caused by any violation according to the existing law.

As the cost of violating a person's privacy is very low, some shops and restaurants are flouting the rules to pursue profits, that is why privacy violations through illegal livestreaming have become more and more widespread.

The most efficient way to curb such infringements of people's rights is to increase the cost of doing so. The owners of establishments that are venues for livestreaming and the livestreaming platforms are both responsible for violations of privacy and should be supervised and punished accordingly.