Is it illegal to take pictures of people in the street?

is it illegal to take pictures of people in public areas



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Since almost every cell phone has a good camera, it is very common to find people recording videos in the street. Unfortunately, not all users make good use of these videos and sometimes we appear in a video or photo without our consent. In this article, we explain you if is it illegal to take pictures of people in the streets.

The problem with recording video without consent is that sometimes it ends up on the Internet.

If this is something that has happened to you, don’t worry, here we will try to answer some of the most frequent questions asked by those affected.

Is it possible to record a person in the street freely?

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As a general rule, yes, you can film freely in the street.

However, recording is no longer permitted when it affects the rights of third parties. It is understood that it is logical and normal that when filming in the street, people may appear in the background. The problem is when the recording is a bit more involved.

Imagine that we are filming ourselves at the door of a bar and in our video we see people entering the bar. Everyone has the right to privacy, so if you share that compromising footage on social media, you’re likely to end up in trouble.

Is recording a person without their consent a crime?

For recording a person without their consent to be a crime, there must be a particular purpose.

It is clear that when you record a person in the street without their knowledge, you do not have their consent. However, if you have recorded that person because he or she is part of a particular event and has nothing to do with what you are recording, that would not constitute a crime.

Imagine a traffic accident. You start to record a video of how the car has turned out and inevitably a pedestrian passes by whom you have recorded without their consent and unintentionally. However, a very different case is if you find yourself recording a person in a private setting. Imagine two people talking to each other and you are recording what they are doing, this would be a crime.

It is important to note that, in the USA, a person may exercise his or her right to request the cessation of the recording if he or she is affected by it.

And, is it a crime to take photos without consent in Spain?

In the USA, neither photos nor videos can be taken without the consent of the person concerned. There are cases in which this would not be a crime. If you are reporting on a storm and you are taking pictures of people on the street with raincoats and umbrellas, there would be no problem.

Otherwise, it is the same as with the videos. If the person concerned so requires, you do not have the right to take any picture of him or her either in the foreground or in the background.

Is it legal to record a conversation?

In USA there is jurisprudence to be able to record any conversation in which we participate. It doesn’t matter whether there is consent or not, if you participate in the conversation, you can record it.

Here comes the problem, obviously it is a crime to record other people’s conversations.

The only way to record other people’s conversations and for it to be legal is with the authorization of a judge. To show you how important this is, a conversation recorded without a judge’s authorization is not evidence, no matter how obvious it is what is said in it.

Is it legal to record a phone call?

It depends. If you are part of the call, you can record without any problem. On the other hand, if it is someone else’s call, you cannot record it.

It is not the same to record you talking to your mother as it is to record your partner talking to someone else, no matter how suspicious you may be. Although you can record your conversations, it is illegal to broadcast their content.

On the other hand, the consent of the data subject will usually be required, except in exceptions such as the parties to a contract or the exercise of public administration.

Can I be recorded at work without my consent?

Recording at work is legal depending on the purpose of the recording.

A camera at work that is intended to monitor the worker’s job duties will be completely legal. Likewise, it is also legal if the purpose of the cameras is to monitor the company’s facilities, which would be recording on private property.

On the other hand, a camera in the locker room or any other area that interferes with the worker’s privacy will not be legal at all. In addition, it is not legal to record conversations at work if they are unrelated.

Can a minor be recorded?

Absolutely not. Minors may only be recorded by security cameras for surveillance purposes. However, even in this section, care must be taken with the treatment of these images.

If you wish, you can remove your children from the Internet if they are minors.

In what situation would you be entitled to complain?

As a general rule, you will be able to report any situation in any photo or video you appear in that has been disseminated on the Internet. However, it is important that there is an aggravating factor or something that is proven to damage your image.

It should be noted that when there is an informative interest, you will not have the right to denounce it. This is because the image is merely incidental and does not form part of the context that the recording is intended to show. You can’t always be reported for taking photos.

How to act if I have been recorded without my consent?

The first thing you should do as a preventive measure is to ask the police to come to the scene. In this way, the agents will be able to identify the person who is recording you and open a report that can be used as evidence.

Once this has happened, if the person who has recorded you has disseminated the images, you should ask the court to request the police agencies that intervened. They will have the information of the person they signed up and they will be able to follow up with the pertinent claim.

What happens if you post a video of me on the Internet?

Any video recording of you that violates your image, honor or privacy and is published on the Internet is a crime.

The first step would be to ask the website hosting the video to remove it. If the site does not accede or ignores your requests, it will be co-responsible for the crime.

Social networks have mechanisms that allow you to report this type of content, so you should have no problem if you want to remove a video from YouTube or delete a photo from Instagram.

If the video that has been published is not removed, you will have to file a complaint.

Go to your nearest police station to file a report. The accusation is more serious if the video disseminates privacy secrets, for which you could file a criminal complaint.

What happens if a photograph taken of me without my consent is published on the Internet?

The procedure for photographs is the same as described above for video. First try to contact the website or social network where the photograph has been uploaded and, if this does not work, go to the police.

Penalty for videotaping without consent or taking photographs and publishing them

The penalty for publishing videos and photographs without consent is quite clear.

A person who disseminates such content without authorization shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of three months to one year. Failing that, it shall be liable to a fine of six to twelve months.

We hope you learned if is it illegal to take pictures of people in this article. If there is a video or a photograph that has been published without your permission on the Internet, RepScan can help you. We are professionals in the removal of content from the Internet.

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