Author Topic: Street Photography in the EU  (Read 5392 times)

Ron Scubadiver

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Street Photography in the EU
« on: May 07, 2018, 18:59:08 »
https://idpc.org.mt/en/Documents/Data%20Protection%20and%20Street%20Photography.pdf

The EU GDPR goes into effect this month.  This law is considered to be so troublesome that many websites and services are preparing to block EU users.

My assessment of the above document is photographs of recognizable people taken anywhere in the EU will require consent to be published.  This is what the law already was in France, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Hungary.

Instead of spending my travel dollars in Europe, I will be visiting elsewhere.

Akira

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 19:18:55 »
Oh, boy, let's hope that the ongoing NG meeting in Granada will not be affected...
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

John Geerts

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 20:52:30 »
https://idpc.org.mt/en/Documents/Data%20Protection%20and%20Street%20Photography.pdf

The EU GDPR goes into effect this month.  This law is considered to be so troublesome that many websites and services are preparing to block EU users.

My assessment of the above document is photographs of recognizable people taken anywhere in the EU will require consent to be published.  This is what the law already was in France, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Hungary.

Instead of spending my travel dollars in Europe, I will be visiting elsewhere.
Where does the PDF coming from?  When was it written?

Fons Baerken

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Ron Scubadiver

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 21:21:03 »
The implications of this law go way beyond nearly killing off street photography.  Ordinary EU citizens and residents will be upset when they can no longer reach many internet sites.  Large US tech companies who serviced their entire non US market from a European company are moving their non European international operations out of the EU.  This probably will result in job losses.

Probably, not enough street photographers will change their travel plans to make a noticeable difference.

Ian Watson

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 21:22:57 »
What about NikonGear? Will it be affected?

Danulon

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 21:30:36 »
I doubt that the european members of the forum will dissolve after May 25th 2018. ;-)
Guenther Something

Fons Baerken

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 21:36:28 »
May need a legal representative when you walk the streets camera in hand.
Now wait for the opportunists that see way to sue photogs for damages.

Ian Watson

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 21:38:39 »
I doubt that the european members of the forum will dissolve after May 25th 2018. ;-)

Probably not :) However, there is no shortage of photographs of people who were not asked for permission to post said photographs here. I'm assuming that the new law will only apply to future photographs but one never knows.

Actually, where is NikonGear based? Norway isn't in the EU....

Ian Watson

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 21:39:59 »
Now wait for the opportunists that see way to sue photogs for damages.

Now wait for the people who will pick a fight over it.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 21:51:26 »
Nikongear is run from a hosting service in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The domain is registered to an American provider.

Fons Baerken

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 22:13:38 »
Now wait for the people who will pick a fight over it.

People love emotional confusion.

Airy

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2018, 22:40:41 »
I do not know why that paper is published on a Maltese url.

Talking about "reasonable expectations of privacy" - a street is a public place, so I think the expectation is slightly unreasonable. Ironically, in France, you are not allowed to wear a mask on the street (which is a good preventative measure), let alone a burqa,but motorcycle helmets are still allowed.

Otherwise, there is no fundamental difference induced by that law: today, in France, you'll face trouble if and only if somebody files a complaint pertaining to a publication.

That sort of laws will however trigger brazen reactions from "subjects". I remember those idiotic remarks when photographic old buildings; two owners thought I needed permission which is not the case (neither for shooting, nor for publishing, as the architect passed away more than 70 years ago, and as real estate owners do not get any kind of "copyright").

We'll see. I'll keep shooting as usual, and please notice that nobody may complain about your shooting, which is *not* restricted by EU law. You can still invoke "private usage" as an excuse.

The sole idea of blurring faces however stinks - as if humanity should become an anonymous pack (of programmed workers & consumers ?). I remember having seen recent (10 years) photographies of concourse halls edited with such "precautions". Better shoot anthills.
Airy Magnien

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2018, 01:03:30 »
The way I understand it, the purpose of this legislation is to counter social media and other companies who have collected a vast amount of data about private individuals and it has been difficult to find out what purposes this data is used for (some is just marketing but politicial influencing has been another, which can lead to large consequences to how societies function) and give people back the right to have some degree of control over what data is collected by businesses and for which purposes. Hopefully this will curtail unwanted spamming and targeted advertising. I have stopped long ago answering my phone if I don't know who the caller is - because almost always they're trying to sell you something. Hopefully we can soon opt out of being stored in databases that are used for unknown/unwanted purposes.

I don't think this is meant to affect the photography of people on the street for artistic or journalistic purposes. If you use photos to identify individuals and use that for some purpose (ie. person X was seen in location Y) and build a database of information about the behavior of identified individuals, then yes, this would likely require the consent of the individuals. But in street photos the people are not seen as known individuals but representatives of humanity and so it is not the kind of information which this legislation is concerned with.

Artistic, literary, scientific and journalistic purposes are likely to be exempt. Also personal use. But I am not a lawyer. :) Usually common sense prevails.

Les Olson

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Re: Street Photography in the EU
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2018, 10:26:52 »
Calm down. Nothing has changed in European law.

There are two aspects of European law that need to be kept in mind simultaneously but separately: privacy, and data protection. 

Both are based on the European Convention on Human Rights. All EU member states are signatory to the Convention, and all have agreed to make their domestic law consistent with it.  What counts as "consistent with the Convention" is determined by the European Court of Human Rights, and each EU member is bound by the EU treaties to adjust its domestic law to satisfy the rulings of the ECHR.  Some have already done that (France, eg), and some will get around to it sooner or, more likely, later (Italy, eg, where existing privacy law, like a lot of Italian law, dates from Mussolini's time).  Even if a country has not got around to fixing its law, its citizens can appeal to the ECHR, and the ECHR will over-ride the decisions of local courts enforcing the unreconstructed law.  Nothing stops individual EU member states from going beyond the Convention, and the ECHR does not prescribe how, administratively, they have to satisfy the Convention, so there is variation in the administrative details.  The document linked to by the OP is just Malta putting long-standing EU law into effect. 

Article 8 of the Convention says that "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence".  The exact wording is important, because its use of "private life" instead of "privacy" is where the things that English-speakers find peculiar come from.  Obviously, your private life is your private life wherever you happen to be.  So the ECHR has said that people cannot photograph you in a way that adversely affects your private life, whether you are in public or not.  Obviously, as far as the Convention is concerned, taking but not publishing a photograph does not affect your privacy, and photographs that do not impinge on your private life can be taken in public and published. 

Because the issue is "respect for private life" French courts have decided that even consent may not allow a photographer to publish photographs after some time has passed. For example, a book of photographs of gang members in France had to be withdrawn because it included photographs of a man taken when he was a gang member but who was no longer associated with gangs. Conversely, a book of photographs of homeless people in Paris could include a photograph of an elegant woman sitting on a park bench because it said nothing about her private life. 

Then there is data protection, which is related but not the same as privacy.  You have a right to control the collection and use of personal data, and, obviously, a photograph of your face is personal data.  So, EU law is that people cannot publish photographs of you - use your personal data - without your consent, and cannot take photographs of you - collect your personal data - if you object. (The statement by Airy that in France you will only get into trouble if someone files a complaint is correct, but misleading for English-speakers, because whereas English and therefore US law makes a sharp distinction between civil wrongs, that private people must sue for, and crimes, that the police intervene against and the state prosecutes, European law does not. The police in Paris cannot arrest you if they see you photographing people, but a person who objects to being photographed does not have to sue you: they can go to the nearest policeman and complain and then the policeman can arrest you).   

US law is moving quite rapidly to the same destination as EU law, although by a different route: copyright and personal image rights.  You will, relatively soon if things go on as they have been, have what amounts to copyright in your image, just as celebrities do now, so people will not be able to create "derivative works" - photographs of you - without your consent.  There is no Constitutional impediment to that.  Americans are fond of saying that "there is no expectation of privacy in a public place".  This is not a correct statement of US law: there is an expectation of privacy in public places that are set up to offer some degree of privacy - a public toilet being the obvious example.  A more fundamental point is that the statement that there is no expectation of privacy in a public place is based on court decisions about the 4th Amendment prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure.  There is no Constitutional right to reasonable search and seizure, so nothing prevents the law saying there is an expectation of privacy in public.  It is well-established that the 1st Amendment does not protect breaches of copyright.