Viral video of ferry terminal outburst raises privacy questions
Published Tuesday, January 20, 2015 8:33AM PST Last Updated Tuesday, January 20, 2015 7:20PM PST
Footage of a woman yelling at BC Ferries staff after missing a New Year’s Eve sailing is making waves online and raising questions about her right to privacy.
The video was posted to the Facebook group Spotted in Victoria on Monday morning, and has been viewed an astonishing 536,000 times since.
The unidentified woman can be seen screaming, “I am so mad!” and, “You have no idea what it means to people!” after being told she didn’t arrive on time to board. BC Ferries said she missed the ferry by a mere three minutes.
Reaction online has been split, with some criticizing her behaviour and others showing sympathy, pointing out that little is known about the woman or her circumstances that day.
Some have also questioned whether sharing the video on Facebook was legal. Peter Roberts, a lawyer who specializes in defamation with Lawson Lundell LLP in Vancouver, said footage shot in public is generally fair game.
“There’s an implied consent with anyone in a public place that they may be filmed and it may become a matter of public interest or public knowledge,” Roberts said.
“It’s different than if you’re in your own home. In public spaces you can expect to be seen and filmed by surveillance cameras, and exposed to publicity like this… as unfortunate as it was for this woman.”
Defamatory comments posted about the video on Facebook, YouTube, or elsewhere still carry a risk, he added. Roberts said defamation on an open website is no different than defamation uttered in person.
Pavitar Sidhu, who runs Spotted in Victoria with Austin Singhera, said complaints about ferry service are a common theme in the group.
“I think a lot of us can sympathize with the woman for being upset in that scenario since I'm certain we've all had similar experiences,” Sidhu said. “But it's 2015, and someone recorded it.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Bhinder Sajan