- Human Rights
- September 27, 2009
- 4 minutes read
Privacy..what privacy? Egyptian TV programme takes passenger for a ride but where will they end?
It seems that the Egyptian TV programme “Taxi” on OTV has surpassed all ethics ignoring the balance between privacy and freedom of speech and the broadcasting of conversations made during the individuals’ ride in the “Taxi”. Ignoring all privacy charters of the constitution, the programme has the camera and recorder placed discreetly and the driver begins to engage in conversation with the passenger ignoring all boundaries. The passenger shares his inner thoughts and little does he know that not only are his voiced thoughts ideas and beliefs (which would otherwise not be made public), recorded but they are about to reach the ears of anyone who cares to watch the programme; his face and voice are not blurred but are left for all to see and hear. No consent is given for the broadcasting.
Gamal Tag a lawyer for the Muslim brotherhood movement states that “This is not just a violation of privacy and freedom but also unethical means which could bring harm to the person recorded since many people are unhappy with the current situation of the country and this may be innocently voiced”.
The programme has triggered many questions as to the legality of its actions where it is considered a violation and breaching of freedom to record and listen into private conversations. Tag continued where he asked “What steps can victims follow if faced with this predicament and what compensations is he allowed where the constitution stipulates in its charter the sacredness of privacy?”
Dr Gamal Heshmat former MP and a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood movement stated that “Any individual falling prey to the channels’ programme should be protected by law and the channel should be accountable for its actions of violations since it doesn’t protect their privacy”.
It is worth mentioning that OTV belongs to Nabil Soweirus who also owns the Mobinil network. Questions arise about the possibility of recorded conversations by the network in light of statements made by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel claiming that the Ministry had issued rights to private networks to listen and record any conversations made by the citizens.