Privacy concerns

Why selective PECA application?

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It is unfortunate to say the least what the model and actor Rabi Pirzada went through over the last few days. This is also reflective of our unethical and voyeuristic mindset that prevails in the society. Her pictures and videos of private nature have been leaked on social media after she ostensibly angered some people. An Urdu daily printed her pictures and got away with it. The social media being its own gatekeeper too has added to the frenzy and as has been reported, the controversial and compromising material is being viewed and shared at a breakneck speed.

A legal expert expressing her opinion on the subject said that any material, picture, or video or a conversation shared on media without the consent of the person concerned is a crime under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. And people should report such excesses immediately to the authorities.

Pirzada too complained about it to the Federal Investigation Agency but nothing concrete has come out of it yet. This is a time to offer support to Pirzada. She clearly is going through a difficult phase and there are very few people out there to offer her succour.

This mentality of attaching shame to women’s body is extremely disturbing. Pirzada like any other individual – male or female – has a right to her body. She should not be ashamed of her choices that she made in her life; neither should she be apologetic about it as she has been forced to. It should rather be the other way around. Those who have managed to access her private data and are leaking it on media should be held accountable according to the law.

A proper investigation by the FIA, if it takes place at all, shall reveal whether the images and videos are real or fake. In both the cases, those who disseminated this material are culpable under the law. In the latter case, they will have committed double crime.

Earlier too there have been certain instances where videos of personal nature were unlawfully shared on social media. Safe city project, though it could not be ascertained which city, data of travelers was also compromised. Some meek voices were raised against the practice but no responsibility was fixed, no heads rolled and now we have this episode that has wrecked the life of an individual. The application of the PECA should be across the board and not selective as has been witnessed. Only then could we put a stop to the illegal use of social media or with the hand held devices equipped with HD cameras in every hand, no one’s private moments shall remain private.