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Expectations of privacy?
  
 
davidthejr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Expectations of privacy?


Hello all!

I've got a question about personal privacy and candid photography. I was out shooting recently and was in a Krispy Kreme and saw a father and son watching the donuts go through the conveyor line, and got a quick snap of them. Afterwards I was thinking about it, and I was unsure if I should share the photo since I had not asked permission and you could clearly see their faces. I was unsure if being inside of a business changed the expectation that the public has for privacy. As opposed to outside on a public road or sidewalk. If the business does not have any signs saying no photography is it just the same as being out on a public sidewalk? Or does being inside a business change the expectation of privacy?

Thank you so much for your time!
David Landis Jr.



Sep 11, 2017 at 02:28 PM
Genes Home
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Expectations of privacy?


In the U.S., in general, if you are on private or commercial property you are supposed to ask the operator/resident or owner of the property if it is acceptable to take non-commercial or private photos. You must always ask (and get the response in writing) for permission to execute commercial photography on such property (and that now includes all property owned by the U.S. government such as parks and monuments and national forests).

The fact that the people could be identified opens a different kind of worm can. In general if the photo is only for private use and will never be seen in public or sold, you are most likely ok. The safe course of action is to have a simple modeling agreement and to approach the people and get their signature. I normally do this even for photos being used for non-profit activities, even if I am providing copyright free images at no cost to the activity.



Sep 11, 2017 at 03:02 PM
Lee Saxon
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Expectations of privacy?


Everything I've read agrees with Gene from a legal standpoint (though I'm not a lawyer at all!!!); basically if there's no expectation of privacy (ie, you're not a papparazzi climbing over security walls; the shot you took was visible from public space) you should be okay - but get a release anyway if you can.

However,

My newspaper wouldn't publish a photo in which a person was identifiable unless (a) we had their permission and their name for the caption or (b) at least 4 other people were identifiable in the photo.

And in my own life I up that number to a dozen, and for the most part simply don't ever make an image of people I don't know (particularly children).

In this day and age anything you put on the internet is potential there forever. Particularly Flickr or social media which actively spreads stuff to search crawlers. There's pedophiles, there's abusive exes people are hiding from, there's WitSec, there's embarrassment, there's being associated with something you don't want to be associated with. People photographed at the Charlottesville rally are losing their jobs, and while I shed zero tears over that particular example it does demonstrate the point.



Sep 13, 2017 at 11:37 AM
R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Expectations of privacy?


Rights of Privacy Concerns for Photographers

In general, when people are in public, you may photograph them. The use of the photographs can be restricted due to certain privacy rights. The rights for a person to certain kinds of privacy are recognized in most states, but differently for each one. It is, therefore, tricky to know what you can do. The safest approach is to follow the most restrictive one. Privacy rights can be subdivided into four areas.

The first is "invasion of privacy" or "intrusion upon another's seclusion." It happens when someone actually intrudes a person's private domain that would be considered offensive to the average person. As a photographer, the act of going on someone's land without permission would violate this privacy. You don't have to take the photo or publish the photo for the action to be unlawful. Some courts have found an invasion of privacy even when photographing someone in public. In those cases, the photographers harass their subjects, use hidden cameras, or wait for a woman's skirt to be blown at a fun house. It also is unlawful to view and photograph people inside of residences or other places where privacy is expected (businesses are ok), even when the photographer is standing in public.

The second is the public disclosure of private facts. This law is difficult to enforce because if the disclosed information is true, courts usually find that First Amendment interests outweigh privacy rights. It requires disclosure of what an ordinary person would consider private facts when an ordinary person would consider the disclosure offensive. Because of the required elements, it rarely applies to photographers.

The third right of privacy is the portrayal of a person in false light. This happens often with photographs, but usually because of the caption. It requires someone to be publicly portrayed in a false manner in which an ordinary person would find the portrayal offensive. To be liable, the publisher of the photograph must have known or recklessly disregarded the probably falsity of what is represented. It is similar to defamation, when someone's reputation is damaged by a statement that is known or should be known to be false. False light does not require that the person was damaged.

The fourth right of privacy is very different from the other three. It is the commercial appropriation of someone's name or likeness without permission, or misappropriation. It also is known as the right of publicity. It happens when someone uses the name or likeness of another without consent to gain some commercial benefit. It usually occurs when a photograph of a person is used in an advertisement without the person's permission. That is why model releases are so important-they show that you have the person's permission to use the person's name or likeness. Permission is not required for editorial or newsworthy publications.

Be sure to consider other's rights of privacy before you click the shutter.

Take my advice; get professional help.

PhotoAttorney
posted by Photo Attorney at 7:01 PM
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Sep 13, 2017 at 03:33 PM
 

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R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Expectations of privacy?


not so good at moderating are you? lol


Sep 17, 2017 at 08:48 PM
davidthejr
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Expectations of privacy?


Not so much, no. Lol 😂

R.H. Johnson wrote:
not so good at moderating are you? lol


Thank you all so much for your opinions and insight. From what I gather it sounds like public places are pretty much fair game, but if I'm questioning it, I'm probably better off getting a model release. I will keep all this in mind, and next time I see something like that, I'll put a little more caution with it.



Sep 17, 2017 at 09:41 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Expectations of privacy?


Here's another handy, fairly concise reference on the subject.

http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm



Oct 16, 2017 at 02:21 AM







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