Privacy issues to the fore after Andy Hui scandal

A digital camera in a Hong Kong taxi captured actor Andy Hui (left) cheating on his Cantopop superstar wife Sammi Cheng (far right) with TVB actress Jacqueline Wong (centre).
A digital camera in a Hong Kong taxi captured actor Andy Hui (left) cheating on his Cantopop superstar wife Sammi Cheng (far right) with TVB actress Jacqueline Wong (centre). PHOTOS: BIZ TRENDS, JACQUELINEBWONG/ INSTAGRAM, ST FILE

HONG KONG • Did the taxi driver who sold a 16-minute video of actor Andy Hui's hanky-panky with actress Jacqueline Wong to newspaper Apple Daily break the law?

Is it acceptable when advertisers tap the Hong Kong scandal to promote their brands or messages?

These issues have been pushed to the front now that the initial storm over the misbehaviour of the two celebrities has lost some thunder.

Hui, 51, who is married to Cantopop superstar Sammi Cheng, 46, and TVB actress Wong, 30, have apologised for bringing pain and shame to their families and fans.

Cheng has posted that she is willing to forgive Hui and move forward to protect their marriage.

Amid the salacious details, the leaked video is now prompting Hong Kongers to think that their privacy is at risk too.

They are calling on the authorities to regulate the use of digital cameras in taxis.

 
 

Currently, drivers are only issued guidelines.

Some folk suggest that the footage should be encrypted and accessed only by the authorities to settle disputes between the driver and passenger.

Former chief executive Leung Chun Ying has slammed Apple Daily, saying it is "openly offering money for photos and videos. Is this the function of the media?"

The debate has even spilled over to nearby Macau, which has warned taxi drivers not to illegally install recording equipment.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong entities trying to milk the scandal for their own ends has drawn scorn.

For instance, Mercedes-Benz captioned a photo of its S-class car, saying: "Tired of hiding in the shade? Why not cruise under the clear blue sky while it brings you to your destination in style?"

The Independent Commission Against Corruption posted: "Don't think you can cheat by keeping things secret. Digital footprints and cameras are everywhere."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'Privacy issues to the fore after Andy Hui scandal'. Print Edition | Subscribe