Netizens slam Virgin Active Singapore gym for placement of a CCTV camera

A CCTV footage taken at a Virgin Active Singapore gym. (PHOTO: Virgin Active Singapore)

Over the weekend, gym-goers at Virgin Active Singapore shared their concerns on Reddit forum about them possibly being secretly taped without consent. It stemmed from user Adeline Ho, who queried on their official Facebook page on Saturday (16 March) as to why there was a CCTV camera recording in the changing room, located in the gym at Raffles Place.

Screenshot from the Reddit forum. (PHOTO: Reddit)

An employee who was managing the social media account responded: “Hi Adeline, as we have mentioned and you can see in the images in our post, the CCTV is positioned where our female members can pick up a bathrobe before using our relax and recovery facilities, which are located in a communal area past the changing room. And while we celebrate body positivity just like anyone living in the now times and is morally obligated to stay woke and is part of the me too movement, we trust our members are aware enough to be covered up when moving through the club.”

Alex Chan, a Virgin Active spokesperson told Yahoo! Singapore that there is a temporary sign to inform users, that the footwalk area is being recorded by CCTV. Virgin Active is currently pending permanent signage to be delivered by their contractor.

Commenting on the responses left on their official Facebook page, Alex added: “We, as the staff, were just commenting to how we conduct ourselves, in today’s day and age with the whole awareness of everything, being body positivity for both female and male members; while it’s all on-going, people should be appropriately dressed when they walk across the club.”

User Tyler Ng left a comment to say some PDPA laws can be violated if the club failed to inform its users: “As a member who has been with the club since it began operations? If this is within a females only area (likewise for the males), I’m very sure NO members will expect a camera there as most members will consider this to be a restricted area of sorts. Virgin Active Singapore it doesn’t matter WHEN the camera was installed. I’m quite sure some PDPA laws are being violated regarding invasion of privacy or failure to inform etc. You telling us WHEN the camera was installed only serves to inform us how long the laws/rules were not being enforced.”

While user Chloe Fair discounted the club’s response as being snarky: “Hi Virgin Active Singapore, as this particular area is in between the showers and the sauna where people are at maximum in a robe or towel and possibly less, I think it’s absolutely necessary to have signage that makes members aware of the CCTV. At least they can take the proper precautions or decide how they are comfortable being filmed from there. I can tell you that I’m extremely unhappy finding out that I was unaware of cameras in this area after patronising the club for more than 2 years. And when members express their disappointment and discomfort, they’ll appreciate an apology and steps to rectify the situation, not some snarky, off (sic) tangent social media responses about body positivity and the me too movement.”

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