Today, Monday, August 12, 2022, the FDHRD issued its report titled “The Right to Privacy: Guarantees and Controls”, which presents a form of exposure to the privacy of the individual represented in photographing people secretly and without their knowledge, as secretly photography is a crime which must be punished. It reflects a regression and an attack on the system of moral values and stable norms in Egyptian society. It has become a phenomenon in recent times and one of the new crimes in society.
The report emphasized that secretly filming a person is a totally unacceptable social act, as it is clear evidence of an attack on the right to privacy.
In its conclusion, the report recommended the following:
• The state must address the regulation of communications of all kinds in accordance with laws that guarantee respect for privacy for all citizens and not enable others, directly or indirectly, breaching the privacy of others or accessing their private data. The legal regulation needs to be based on objective and professional foundations and the regulation of the right to Privacy, by criminalizing attacks on other’s privacy.
• It is of great importance that all companies’ employees, official bodies and Internet users be aware of the limits to freedom of opinion and right to privacy, and that any behaviour or action that does breaches them should be avoided.
• The penalty of the crime of violating the sanctity of the private life of citizens must be strict.
• Although the Egyptian Penal Code contains texts that protect the private life of individuals, the nature of the attack on the sanctity of private life requires texts that govern their criminal behaviour without resorting to analogy or broad interpretation and without controversy or difference of opinions.
• There must be more social awareness of the risks of violating privacy on social networking sites through organizing workshops, seminars and meetings. This should be in parallel with a media policy that seeks to alert the public and raise their awareness of their rights, and how to deal with companies and entities that collect information about them. There is also a need to constantly review privacy policies with the massing of public opinion behind this issue, and putting constant pressure on the administrations of social networking sites, to force them to respect the right in privacy.
• The educational curriculum has to include digital media education in schools and universities to teach youth and children how to deal with the new digital media in a safe manner.
• Tightening control in the areas of listening devices and the use of surveillance cameras is necessary. Their use in private places and in cases other than necessary use must be prevented. There needs to be specific controls, licenses and permissions for them. They are considered tools that easily to pose a threat to the privacy of individuals if they are not used in accordance with the legal framework.