Friday, August 14, 2009

Insensitive Media: Invasion of Privacy

Family upset
Bangalore: High drama prevailed in front of the Karnataka`s first H1N1 victim’s house when mediapersons tried to speak to family members. When a cameraperson of an English news channel tried to barge into the house & shoot images of the house, the upset family members tried to shoo him away. But when he refused to back off, they threw a chair on him from within their compound. The cameraperson, who was injured in the face, lodged a police complaint.
Why is the media so insensitive towards privacy? Why do they think that it is their right to barge into homes/ hospitals without permission?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Patients beware: Photographers can Misuse your photo!

Innocent mother child suffer, while the photographer and ad agency laugh their way to the Bank!
Photograph of a mother and child from a video grab of a Pulse Polio program, sold to a photobanking agency...The agency sells the photo to an Ad agency, which uses the photo in a AIDS campaign!
Chennai, Aug. 4: A woman has sought damages of Rs 1 crore from the Tamil Nadu States AIDS Control Society which used her picture with her daughter in an AIDS poster allegedly without her permission.
The life of Kripa, 25, and her four-year-old daughter Akila (both names changed) turned topsy-turvy once the advertisement appeared in the form of posters, banners and hoardings with the slogan “Nambikkai Mayiathirkku Nandri” (Thanks to the AIDS counselling centres) around three months ago. They were meant to urge people to step into the state-run centres to test for HIV/AIDS.
The housewife has sought the Rs 1 crore for the mental agony caused to her family.
“I was shocked when neighbours told me that our photograph has been displayed in the government hospital near my house in Triplicane (an area in central Chennai). Within a few hours, a relative came to say that she had seen the poster at Egmore. Everyone suspected we had AIDS since our photo was used for an AIDS campaign,” Kripa claimed in her petition filed in Madras High Court seeking damages and a public apology from the society.
The court has issued a notice to the society and the matter will come up for hearing tomorrow.
Tamil Nadu health secretary V.K. Subbaraj said the ad agency which had been given the job for the campaign may be at fault, but added that he had ordered an inquiry into whether the woman’s consent was taken for using her and her child’s images. “Beyond that I can’t comment as the matter is before the court,” Subbaraj said.
Kripa said even her husband suspected she had gone to the counselling centre along with her child for taking the HIV/AIDS test. “It took a lot of pleading and convincing for her to make her husband overcome his suspicion,” said Kripa’s lawyer, G. Mohanakrishnan.
In her petition, Kripa said her neighbours started shunning her and kept their children away from her daughter. “I could not even admit my daughter in a school,” she said.
Her family, Kripa claimed, became social outcasts. She wanted the AIDS agency to remove the images from its campaign immediately, since they had taken them without her permission.
Mohanakrishnan said Kripa was first clueless as to when and where the photograph had been taken. “On repeated queries, she recalled that a foreign agency had taken a video of patients waiting in line at the Government Hospital for Women and Children at Triplicane. Our guess is the photo was taken from a frozen frame of that video,” he told The Telegraph.

1. Ask any photographer to take your permission prior to photography
2. Ensure that your photograph would not be misused for financial gains
3. Protest if someone photographs/ videographs you without permission

Suffer from Flu: Lose your dignity & Rights

In a shocking development, the identity of the Patients suffering from H1N1 were disclosed to the media. This is a GROSS violation of medical ethics, patients charter of rights as per NABH. Even the suspects names and addresses were revealed in a press conference. The unscrupulous mediamen even entered hospitals to photograph and videograph hapless patients in hospitals, using this opportunity to record some "file shots/bytes" which can be sold later!
It is high time the patients became aware of their rights and fight these issues legally.
(photo/ report: Mangalorean)

Added on 14.08.2009: Sadly the disclosure of information has been made by a doctor (not the treating doctor). If that doctor does not apologize, a formal complaint to the medical council of India is being prepared.

Update: 14.08.2009, 11:32 hrs: Official from Udupi District H1N1 team has responded! Read the response... "According to the guidelines of D.C. in press meet held on 10-08-09 ,D.H.O. has given press statement .I was only mailing their reports. Anyhow we have stopped giving the details to the press from 13-08-09 only. We ensure that we will keep the secrecy of patients details to the media".