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Thread: Question About People Taking Pictures of You

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    Question Question About People Taking Pictures of You

    I hope this question is okay to post here! I was at a pub/bar type of place located in a hotel over the weekend. While I was sitting by myself and having a drink, I noticed a guy across the bar with his camera out and then blinded me with the flash. It made me mad cause this isn't the first time this type of thing to happen. I immediately went over to him and demanded that he deletes my picture and I made it clear I don't want my picture to be taken.

    I live in Toronto, Canada and I'm wondering if this is OK for people to do within a private type of establishment without asking for my permission or is it still considered "public"? I want to know for the next time, some creep decides to whip out his camera and take pictures of me .



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    I'm not sure about the laws in Canada but as a practical matter it's essentially imposssible to have an expectation of privacy while sitting in a hotel bar/pub. It's likely the hotel has surveilance cameras all over the hotel common areas and your likeness was likely recorded numerous times while you were in and about the hotel and the hotel grounds.

    While I suspect you have zero grounds to demand the photo be deleted, you likely have a say if the photo is used for a commercial purpose, like promoting/advertising the hotel's bar/pub.

    However, I doubt you would have any legal recourse if the photographer were to print the photo for personal use.

    Your screen name may speak volumes regarding the image you try to project when out in public.
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    I understand if you don't like your picture taken, but as a photographer I have to ask, would it be so hard to just ask the gentlemen politely to not take your picture? If I see an attractive person in a nice setting, I like to take a picture of it. I don't have any malicious intent when I take it.
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    As mentioned, it likely comes down to something along the lines of 'Reasonable Expectation of Privacy'. If you are in a place where you would have a 'Reasonable Expectation of Privacy'...like inside your hotel room, or inside your home, or in your back yard (with a high privacy fence) etc....then you might have a legitimate issue with someone taking your photo.

    But if you are out in public, including privately owned property (like a bar), then you can't expect the same level of privacy. Now, if the owner of the property asks the photographer to stop, or to vacate the premises, then they might have to obey (or be charged with trespassing) but I don't think there are ever any grounds for the photos to be deleted etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    Your screen name may speak volumes regarding the image you try to project when out in public.
    Very good point, Keith.

    I love the "immediately went over and demanded" that her picture be deleted. Demanded!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    I'm not sure about the laws in Canada but as a practical matter it's essentially imposssible to have an expectation of privacy while sitting in a hotel bar/pub. It's likely the hotel has surveilance cameras all over the hotel common areas and your likeness was likely recorded numerous times while you were in and about the hotel and the hotel grounds.

    While I suspect you have zero grounds to demand the photo be deleted, you likely have a say if the photo is used for a commercial purpose, like promoting/advertising the hotel's bar/pub.

    However, I doubt you would have any legal recourse if the photographer were to print the photo for personal use.

    Your screen name may speak volumes regarding the image you try to project when out in public.
    Even though it's not in my favor, I suppose this is true and makes sense...

    I forgot to mention the man who took a picture of me wasn't a "photographer" in any real sense - Just a man with a camera....There's been a lot of voyeurism cases on the news and police looking for men who take inappropriate pictures of women (up their skirts etc), so this is why it makes me weary. (My screen name was chosen cause it was available , it's not a real reflection of me or how I may project myself in public) It wasn't like I was dressed provocatively, it's February here and it's quite cold and I was dressed warmly. Still, if a woman was wearing a mini skirt, I feel that it's still courteous if men don't help themselves and take dozens of pictures of her - especially if she makes it clear she doesn't want her picture taken...


    Quote Originally Posted by EIngerson View Post
    I understand if you don't like your picture taken, but as a photographer I have to ask, would it be so hard to just ask the gentlemen politely to not take your picture? If I see an attractive person in a nice setting, I like to take a picture of it. I don't have any malicious intent when I take it.
    As I said above, the man wasn't a real photographer you know what I mean? lol I've been at a bar before to see a local KISS tribute band and the photographer asked if he could take a picture of me with the band - and I said yes. I think asking for permission is just the right and civil thing to do.

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    Not to take away from the OP's regard of privacy, but it totally depends on the establishment. I have worked in the industry as a "Hospitality Host" or doorman and have had to ask people to either not take photos of the entire room or video it. Party shots were okay, as long as it was of the members in the party.

    The reason as it was explained to me, well before all the social media sites came about, was due to the expectation of privacy and that if a Male/Female had their picture taken in what was an innocent situation and that photo/video were to be posted, the repercussions of it being seen in a misconstrued manner were too high and legal ramifications have occured as a result of an innocent picture being posted on XYZ social site.

    As for an individual "Demanding" the picture be deleted...?

    Most reputable establishments have rules posted or a sign that states, "No Photography or Video Allowed".

    Vixxen- having just read your reply, asking the establishment to deal with this would have been within your rights. As stated, Reputable establishments would deal with this appropiately. Either by having the individual leave or by involving Police if the situation warrented it IE-voyeurism. Not trying to disagree with your situation, just trying to assist if it happens again.
    Last edited by Skinnifatkid; 02-06-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: OP's new post read

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    Quote Originally Posted by vixxen View Post
    I think asking for permission is just the right and civil thing to do.
    Certainly, but some people don't care about being polite, or are scared to ask (you know, the whole 'better to ask for forgiveness than permission' thing).

    Legally, I don't think they would be required to ask in most cases though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwbryson1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    Your screen name may speak volumes regarding the image you try to project when out in public.
    Very good point, Keith.

    I love the "immediately went over and demanded" that her picture be deleted. Demanded!!
    Yes sir, I "demanded" him to delete my pictures cause I felt it was inappropriate. I'm 19-years-old and the man must have been in his late 40's. I felt uncomfortable at what he was doing and don't want any pictures of me in his possession.

    Admittedly, I actually made quite a scene over it - The manager got involved, two other women who were around his age witnessed what happened and were confronting him as well and they were saying it's against the law, which lead me to find out whether it's legal or not. The manager asked the man to pay for his drinks and leave the premises of the hotel.
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    Hard to believe of all the names and combonations Vixxen was the only one left.

    If someone took a pic of you, they must've deemed something about you to be photo-worthy. Gee, I can only imagine what you think that might be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vixxen View Post
    Yes sir, I "demanded" him to delete my pictures cause I felt it was inappropriate.
    What would have happened if he refused?

    Generally, even the police cannot delete pictures/confiscate film without a court order.

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    Unfortunately Vixxen, you are out of luck. As distasteful and innapropriate as this person was being, he did nothing illegal. The Canadian law(s) as they apply are:

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states that: "You are guaranteed the right to take photographs, and publish them. You are guaranteed the right to express yourself through photography, and you have the freedom to publish the photos you take. Unless you are arrested, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees your right to take photographs of anything you want, as well as publish them."

    The only statues (of which I am aware) which supercede this are contained in the Canadian Criminal Code as follows: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also says that every Canadian is guaranteed a reasonable expectation of privacy. This protects your privacy against unreasonable search, and seizure of your property by the government. For non-government related privacy, see Criminal Voyeurism, and the various Privacy Acts for your Province, they protect your privacy from other people and companies, as well, they protect the privacy of people you photograph."

    and

    "Criminal Voyeurism You can not take photos of people who are in circumstances where they believe that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, for example, a bathroom. This generally extends to include a person inside their own home, or anywhere where they have reason to believe is a private place."

    Since you would be hard-pressed to make either one of these apply in this situation, your only option is to complain to the management, who, as the property owners, or representiatives thereof, can authorize or forbid the taking of photographs within their premises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vixxen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jwbryson1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KmH View Post
    Your screen name may speak volumes regarding the image you try to project when out in public.
    Very good point, Keith.

    I love the "immediately went over and demanded" that her picture be deleted. Demanded!!
    Yes sir, I "demanded" him to delete my pictures cause I felt it was inappropriate. I'm 19-years-old and the man must have been in his late 40's. I felt uncomfortable at what he was doing and don't want any pictures of me in his possession.

    Admittedly, I actually made quite a scene over it - The manager got involved, two other women who were around his age witnessed what happened and were confronting him as well and they were saying it's against the law, which lead me to find out whether it's legal or not. The manager asked the man to pay for his drinks and leave the premises of the hotel.
    Okay, so you felt it was inappropriate, but have no proof that he actually even took a photo of you?

    You said you "saw his flash" from "across the bar..." That could mean that he was taking a photo of anything. He could have been taking a wide angle shot of the whole establishment.

    By your own vague admission, he could have been shooting one of his friends... BUT NO! You saw the flash, so he must have been zooming in right at your face!

    OP, I'd relax a little bit. You're going to get your photo taken, and sometimes it will be taken by strangers. It's life. You don't know him, and he doesn't know you. Chances are, you'll never meet again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by O|||||||O View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vixxen View Post
    Yes sir, I "demanded" him to delete my pictures cause I felt it was inappropriate.
    What would have happened if he refused?

    Generally, even the police cannot delete pictures/confiscate film without a court order.
    If he refused, I could just wait till my boyfriend came to deal with him

    No, I'm kidding but I think it's worth trying to confront and request fo him to delete my picture - which he did as I stood there and made sure it was gone...If someone feels like they're a person with an ounce of any courtesy and respect, they would acknowledge that I don't want my picture taken and they would delete it.

    Perhaps next time a guy wants to take my picture, I should whip my camera out too and start snapping and snapping......Lets see how they feel when the tables are turned...

    I once saw a man who looks like Superman (Christopher Reeve) at a bar, I should have taken a couple of hundred pictures of him!! Damn, if only I knew it was okay back then!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vixxen View Post
    Perhaps next time a guy wants to take my picture, I should whip my camera out too and start snapping and snapping......Lets see how they feel when the tables are turned...
    This is actually a really good idea. This is what you should do, and what I have done in the past. Much better than creating a scene over a stupid bar photo that probably didn't even turn out that great due to on camera flash.
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