Street vs Privacy in Aus

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Dr Croubie, May 29, 2014.

  1. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting article.
    Quotes of note:
    "In 1900... the enactment of the first “privacy” laws in the United States. Now, more than a century later, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand have also recognised a “right to privacy”. Australia is yet to do so."
    "Cases in the US, UK and New Zealand tell us that courts will rarely rule that an individual in a public place, such as on the streets of Brisbane or the London underground, has a “reasonable expectation of privacy”."
    "We need to begin an informed debate in Australia about the appropriate balance of legal rights in a photograph and to adjudicate the claims of those behind the camera against those whose image is captured and published without their consent."
     
  2. giannisg2004

    giannisg2004 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The article is about Eggy, a guy doing his thing and doing it well.

    The only issue arises from misinformed people expecting privacy in *public* spaces.
     
  3. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It is an interesting question.

    They article mentions "the annoyance of street photography". This is an interesting choice of words. It fails to recognise that street photoraphy is actually a high artform, practiced by many of the pioneers in photograhy.

    If you do it right, street photography is non-invasive and results in respectful images that the subjects would not object to.

    In Sweden, "offensive photographing" has been made a crime. In the original version of the bill, offensive photpographing was defined as "taking a photo of someone without their prior consent" regardless of the circumtances. This was clearly impractical an unreasonable. It would have outlawed news photography, traditional street photography and it would also have made it illegal to film a crime in progress for instance. (Films from mobile phones do help the police to solve crime). So the definition was amended to "taking a photo of someone in their private sphere without their prior consent".

    This is a fair distinction as I don't think any serious photographer would want to take a photo of someone through their kithen window. Only weirdos. There is also an exception for journalistic purposes.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,473
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The discussion seems to be based on aspects digital photography.

    Film is exposed, not captured.
    Publish, in that context, probably refers to digital upload to the internet. Not publishing analog prints in a book.
     
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Legally, there would be no difference if you use a film camera or a digital camera. Also, publication entails all forms of publication, whether it's in electronic or printed form.

    In fact if you have violated someone's rights, it will probably cost you more if you do it in a commercial setting, such as a book that is for sale, than if you post it on your blog.

    Anyway, this is all hysteria. I get photographed on the streets almost everyday, directly or indirectly . Mainly, it's tourists with cameras or kids with smartphones. Occasionally, I get targeted by street photographers, and I'lljust give them a wave and a smile when they are done.

    If I should happen to wear an ugly shirt or pick my nose while they are shooting, it's hardly their fault.
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,930
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As a a side note:

    Street-photography seems to have a largely varying popularity nationwise.
    (I can hardly remember when I last saw something of that kind.)
     
  7. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    On flickr there are many street photographers from Germany. Several of them use film too.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,930
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The number on Flickr does not neccessarily correspond to the number on street (and any induced annoyance) in german or foreign cities I visit. (In Germany even the term street-photography is not common.)
     
  9. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It hardly seems worth arguing about. It goes without saying that if a large number of Germans are posting street shots regularly on flickr, they have to be on the streets shooting them.

    Streets photographers however use a number of techniques to conceal their shots, so it's easier to spot them if you know the techniques than if you don't.

    When I shoot street, 99 percent of my shots are undected.
     
  10. snowblind

    snowblind Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    In fact, worse, you get photographed and filmed by security cameras everywhere much more regularly.

    If I'm in a public place then, as long as I'm not doing something illegal (not that I ever do), I don't care who snaps me. Anyone on the same street at the same time can see me and, since I don't know who any of those people are, why should I care if they are looking at me on the Internet from a different place at a different time?
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,210
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    LOL! Do people really have an expectation of 'privacy' with Google having infiltrated your very living space and watching your every move? If you have a smartphone, if you have a computer and a browser, your privacy went out the window a long, long time ago. And what about the plethora of camera in cities that also watch the public's every move (and are exceptionally helpful with police investigations where there is assault, robbery etc)? And in stores?
    I don't really see how a problem can arise in casual street photography unless somebody actually, physically takes offence to being photographed; this images shown on that site are charming; the elderly man with the birds — that is really uplifting; but the model (Naomi Campbell??) ... dunno how she'd react to that (maybe a bit like Lara Bingle — lash out, kick, scream, punch and be arrested for it). But people on the street — hundreds of them, in context as representative of any city on the planet could not possibly give rise to issues of privacy. How could it? There are some clear lines of protection though. Provision does exist online where people who recognise themselves in photographs that they are unhappy at featuring in can request to have the material removed; this is the policy with Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube and PhotoBucket, among many others and often rides side by side with copyright.

    This line is what you must remember:
    "Privacy, as a concept and legal right, is notoriously slippery and contextual."

    and this—
    "(need to) ... adjudicate the claims of those behind the camera against those whose image is captured and published without their consent."
     
  12. snowblind

    snowblind Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Forget about it. There is no such thing as "privacy, as a concept and legal right". What I mean is, there is no such thing as deleting something from the Internet. It might be taken down by some responsible sites but it's already been copied all over the place, within minutes (or even seconds, or even less) before anyone has any idea what's happening. Also, the very idea of companies being responsible for respecting an individual's right to privacy and being asked to "delete" all records is laughable. It doesn't matter what laws or protective mesaures are in place -- if someone, even me or you, wants to keep data, there is nothing that can prevent "one" from keeping a copy of it somewhere without anyone knowing about it. (Therefore consider your position before you trust your material to "the cloud"...)

    This message will self-destruct... never! (For future generations, who may come across this post 300 years from now, that's a play on the opening sequence of the 1960s television series "Mission: Impossible" -- Google it! :smile:)
     
  13. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

    Messages:
    670
    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Missouri, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And all the while, as they stand there and demand the film photographer delete their image from his/her camera, the whole discussion is being recorded by literally dozens of "security" cameras. Evidently those are OK.
     
  14. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And never think that those images that are filmed with security camera's will necessarily be over written in a week or so. I knew of a security firm in a building that I did some work in that used to save 'the best bits' for later viewing.

    (moral of the story - never engage in sexual acts in a dark secluded nook outside of an office block....).
     
  15. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    There are so very many things wrong in this article, starting with this paragraph:

    a) privacy and commercial use are two very distinct provisions and it is the latter that was introduced as a result of that NY case. You have the right to veto the use of your image for commercial purposes in the USA and the law in AU is basically the same
    b) AU does have a formally recognised right to privacy, but it does not apply in public areas. You cannot be legally photographed through your house windows without permission, for example. The AU High Court (functionally equivalent to the US Supreme Court; our Supreme Courts are much lower in our juridical chain) has formally recognised the right of photographers to take photographs of people in public as long as they do not violate privacy, e.g. by shooting through windows.

    All of the above has again absolutely nothing to do with copyright:

    which is just plain wrong in so many ways.
     
  16. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,452
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Lots of the survelliance cameras are discreet and will have low light capability they are d cameras and they won't be going on to tape and deleted in a week.

    Street photographers captured kids street games just pre and post WWII.

    If you ban it you lose it.
     
  17. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    Central Cana
    Shooter:
    35mm
    In 60 years, much of it spent in big cities, I have never knowingly had my picture taken.
    I suppose this means that street photographers consider me un-photogenic.
    That's an insult and my feelings are hurt.
    Can I sue them for NOT taking my picture?
     
  18. giannisg2004

    giannisg2004 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you got offended, of course!
     
  19. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,711
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    With technology like Google earth and street, why should anybody be concerned about privacy in the street?
     
  20. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    882
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Australian State Attorneys General Conference in 2005 affirmed that "no one in Australia has a right not to be photographed in a public place". This affirmation is, of course, not for the benefit of photographers but rather to the advantage of authorities who want to conduct surveillance without legal challenge.

    Emboldened by this knowledge I sometimes photograph in public spaces with a conspicuous 8x10 camera on a tripod...which starts a few conversations. One impression I've formed is that people dislike being caught unawares or pursued by a camera. The big camera doesn't sneak, chase, or offer a threat and it is generally (and remarkably!) ignored.

    The other impression I get is that people in a public space don't actually want privacy, they want anonymity.
     
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,210
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    People cling to the quaint notion, long outdated as it is, that they are entitled to privacy out there on the street. Such a thing just does not exist. But you will notice that in Google street views where people are in the scene, their faces have been blurred or pixelated — they are not that easily recognised, if at all. (I do not know if this is the approach by Google globally or by country) Can it be seen as an attempt by Google to provide token privacy to individuals in a public space in its undoubtedly benevolent (and undeniably beneficial!) project of documenting the world we live in? If the faces of individuals were not blurred, would that give rise to an avalanche of complaints about the need to "respect the privacy and identity of individuals" (or whatever other cute term you would to call it) that would be summarily consigned to the bin by Google? Google's defence is long, winding and convoluted. Unfortunately, a European court found against Google that people have a right to be forgotten, and unsurprisingly an avalanche or requests was received. And what did Google do? Nothing. Back to their lawyers to find away to defeat the ruling...
     
  22. LJH

    LJH Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format