A controversial video clip has sparked debate on whether the government should impose tighter rules to limit the use of cameras in taxis in Hong Kong.

The 16-minute clip, which appears to show Hong Kong singer Andy Hui Chi-on kissing TVB actress Jacqueline Wong Sum-wing in a taxi, was uploaded on Apple Daily’s website on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old singer is the husband of Hong Kong Canto-pop queen Sammi Cheng Sau-man. Hui held a tearful press conference on Tuesday to apologize for his behavior.

The video showed that the pair kissed about 20 times during a ride from Tai Hang on Hong Kong Island to Lei Yue Mun in Kowloon.

The video went viral on social media and sparked a heated debate on better safeguards of personal privacy, as it was allegedly taken by a hidden camera installed in the taxi.

The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data said taxis are regarded as a semi-private place. Leaking footage of passengers that reveals their identity is an infringement of personal information and may constitute a violation of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.

The commissioner can issue a notice to the owner to take action against the leaking of data, and if the violator does not act according to the notice, he may face a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,374), plus two years in jail, if convicted.

The government has said a guideline is being drafted by the Transport Department about the installation of devices inside taxis. It instructs drivers to post a notice to inform passengers that a hidden camera has been installed in the vehicle.

Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a Civic Party lawmaker and member of the government-appointed Committee on Taxi Service Quality, said there is no law currently that prohibits taxi drivers from publicizing such footage.

He suggested that the government force all operators or owners of taxis with video cameras to only store footage that is encrypted and accessible only to law enforcement bodies.

Hung Wing-tat, chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi Council, also urged the government to penalize drivers who misuse such cameras, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.

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