Couple to sue subway over leaked kiss video

Passengers walk inside a station of the new Subway Line Number 5 in Beijing October 7, 2007. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - An incensed Chinese couple, videotaped hugging and kissing on a subway platform, plan to sue the subway’s operator after the video was uploaded to YouTube and other Web sites, attracting thousands of hits.

The three-minute video of the couple in their 20s was shot in September and uploaded to YouTube and Chinese video-sharing Web sites last week, Tuesday’s China Daily reported, citing a local newspaper.

It drew more than 15,000 hits in two days, it said.

“A mocking voice can be heard in the background of the video. It has extremely embarrassed the couple,” the paper said.

The couple had hired a lawyer in the interests “of all passengers traveling on metro trains in Shanghai,” the paper quoted the unnamed man in the video as saying.

“Now every time I walk into a metro station I feel uncomfortable,” the man said.

The subway’s operator, Shanghai Metro Operation Co Ltd, was investigating and had promised “severe punishment” if employees were found to have misused the video, the paper said.

Authorities have credited the installation of hundreds of thousands of closed-circuit security cameras in large Chinese cities for helping to reduce crime in recent years.

But Chinese legal experts and scholars have called for more robust privacy legislation to regulate the use of video footage and impose penalties on its abuse.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Ken Wills