What to do if someone takes a picture of me without my permission?

A few days back Hollywood celebrities lashed out on the leaked nude photographs over the internet. Celebrities after admitting that even if the photographs are authentic, people owning the copyrights (photographers/agencies) should remove them from the internet. What could be some legal ramifications if someone takes a picture of me without my permission? The article briefly discusses the issue.

There can be plenty of fair reasons if someone’s picture is used over the internet for personal use without consent, this may include family and friends. But the issue may arise on the subject if the picture is used illegally or posted online inappropriately. There’s a thin line between professional photography and performing these perversion acts. But the laws define it very clearly that the nature of the photograph and the scenario initiated around them can lead you to be held liable for the violation of the privacy act.

When is it legal to take pictures without consent?

Following are some scenarios where you are not liable for taking someone’s picture without their consent:

1. Photos were taken or shared by a family member or friend

If a friend or family member uploads your picture over the internet, you can request them to remove it politely. These photographs can be one of those which are taken normally at a family gathering or mutual events where consent is not often required. In these cases, the person hired to take photographs or the family member has the legal right to take photos as you are present at their legal property (like their home).

Additionally, if you sue them for using your pictures without consent, chances are there that they may not change the result and you might have to bear additional attorney and case filing expenses.

2. Photographs shared by strangers

Strangers taking photographs are usually found in public places, not at your private property unless you have hired them. Photographs taken at a public place are sometimes not intentionally focused on a person but the environment.

You have the legal right to restrict someone to take your pictures inside your private property. If someone you don’t know takes your picture while you are on your property, then you should talk to an attorney and look into the limits of a privacy breach. Although, it is truly legal to take pictures of your private property (house) from outside if someone doesn’t have consent.

3. Photographs shared by a restaurant or an event venue

These photographs can be taken in an event or a restaurant launch by a hired professional photographer. You as being a participant of the event or the customer of the restaurant permitting the owners to have you in their pictures.

However, you can request the management not to use your photographs on their website or Facebook page. Plus, if the images are used for the advertisement on the posters or for commercial purposes, you can ask for legal remedies. You must take legal actions as the person may be making money from your pictures.

4. Inappropriate or negative content attached with the photograph

Possibly, if you allow your pictures to be used by a third party, then you may receive negative remarks that may become the reason for mocking the internet. It is important to consult an attorney and know more about the state laws and restrictions about bullying, defamation, and cyberbullying.

When it is illegal to take someone’s photograph without consent?

Generally, the person’s privacy rights relate directly to the person’s REP – Reasonable Expectations of Privacy. The more open or huge a public place is, the subject bears the least REP. To make it simple, let’s have an example.

You visit a marketplace/park/street where CCTVs are being placed for surveillance, however, they also are not allowed to use the videos but saving footage to maximize their privacy is permitted. No matter who else comes in it.

And then again, you can expect complete privacy when you are at your property or a private place that is not subjected to the clear use of images for commercial purposes. In some public areas, you have the legal right and REP when you are inside a women’s restroom at a gym or in a bathroom at a park.

Some other ways include the view of the photographer while taking the photograph. Usually, it is permissible for the public to take pictures at public places which are often performed to capture the beauty of nature. But, if the photographer has some personal means to stalk or harass the pictures that’s another part of the story.

If you believe that someone has violated your privacy rights, you must contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the issue and determine what options you have to move forward.

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