360 ends live broadcasting after criticism

Privacy is a social concern on the issue

Cyber security firm 360 said yesterday it would end live broadcasting from its surveillance cameras in response to public concerns about privacy.

The company has sold around 5 million 360 smart cameras nationwide, which provide high-definition surveillance in homes, restaurants and shopping centers. But the provision of the Shuidi live broadcast feature recently has raised privacy concerns.

“After serious consideration, we have decided to permanently shut down the live broadcast feature to ensure privacy protection,” 360 said in a statement, adding that it could not resolve all privacy issues.

Netizens criticized the feature after they found live footage from businesses such as shops and restaurants ended up on the Internet without customers’ knowledge. It was alleged that owners and operators of these businesses allowed the footage online via the Shuidi live broadcast feature.

Some netizens spoke out angrily against some of the businesses, media reported.

The viral online footage prompted 25-year-old Chen Feifei to write a public letter last week to Zhou Hongyi, 360’s chairman, in which she implied there was privacy infringement via the Shuidi live broadcasts on the cameras. 360 issued an explanation to say that there was no fault involved.

Chen yesterday welcomed 360’s decision to end the service.

Special Reports