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Data protection act


fletchphoto 13 97 1 England
7 Jan 2004 6:15PM
I have just been told if you take a photo of someone without their consent e.g. a reportage style shot of a person in the street, and then store that image on a computer, that image then becomes subject to the Data Protections Act.
As you wont have that persons permition
to store their image on your PC or other electronic storage device, it is possible that you could be prosecuted under this act(if they find out!)
Has anyone come across this or is it more complicated than this?

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FrankThomas e2
11 2.8k United Kingdom
7 Jan 2004 8:20PM
It's a lot more complicated than that - you only come under the auspices of the DP act if you hold information that can personally identify a person either living or dead. I am not totally sure but I don't think it applies to private individuals that hold info like this - it's more aimed at companies (We have no end of trouble with the DP act - being an insurance company)

If you want to, you can download the entire act and have a read (it's very very very boring - trust me, I've read it) from Here

If I recall, the act is concerned with the type and quantity of information that you hold and also the purpose for which you hold it (amongst other things.)
8 Jan 2004 12:53AM
More and more I am beginning to find butterly collecting more appealing.

Although I guess that would upset somebody.

Perhaps butterfly photography would be safer. Providing it's not a Protected Variety'.

Just Jas
Phoenix 13 1.9k
8 Jan 2004 6:37AM
Well, if nothing else, I suspect butterfly collecting would probably upset the butterflies
mjsayles 8 1.0k
16 Mar 2008 3:47PM
I've just stumbled across this thread, so i thought I might clarify some things, as I am a qualified 'Data Protection Officer' (for my sins).

Firstly, "you only come under the auspices of the DP act if you hold information that can personally identify a person either living or dead" couldn't be more wrong! The Data Protection Act ("DPA") applies ONLY to living individuals. Dead people are NOT covered by the DPA (although deceased persons have an enduring right to respect for their private and family lives under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, but that's a different matter).

Taking photos for 'domestic use' is fine - in fact, collecting personal data of any kind for domestic use is fine. If you have candid shots of people you've snapped whilst out and about saved on your hard drive, you are NOT subject to the DPA.

There is also quite a bit of confusion regarding taking photos at schools and the DPA. I often hear incidents of schools saying that parents cannot take photos/movies of sports day/nativity plays etc. "because of the Data Protection Act". This is absolute balls, and in my duties I often have to correct misguided headteachers on this. In fact, photos of schoolkids that appear in a school prospectus would not be covered by the DPA, even though they are processed by the school for publication - although in such situations it would be good practice to get consent from the kids/their parents simply to avoid any 'upset'. Photos of schoolkids processed by the school for the pruposes of 'Student ID cards' would, however, be covered by the provisions of the DPA.

And, in terms of the DPA, the age of consent, whilst not actually stipulated, is considered to be around 12 years - although age must be considered alongside other issues, such as mental capacity to understand the basis of the consent that is being given.

Reading the Data Protection Act is one thing; interpreting it correctly is a whole different kettle of legislative fish.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
16 Mar 2008 3:55PM

Quote:The Data Protection Act ("DPA") applies ONLY to living individuals. Dead people are NOT covered by the DPA

So the obvious solution, after you've taken a snap of someone, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, is to take them out?
mjsayles 8 1.0k
16 Mar 2008 4:37PM
That would seem a reasonable solution, yes. Wink
SKavanagh 7 312 5 England
17 Mar 2008 6:55AM
I was under the impression that you could take photos of people in a public place because it is public but have to get there consent in a private place. ie if you go to a public park you now it is public and being there you have basicly given your consent. But i dont agree with photographing kids unless my own or friends kids.
One of the photo mags have run something on people in public but who ever you speak to its always different. If you in the wrong plead insanity Wink
Steve
stolzy 9 3.8k 7
17 Mar 2008 9:04AM

Quote:I was under the impression that you could take photos of people in a public place because it is public but have to get there consent in a private place. ie if you go to a public park you now it is public and being there you have basicly given your consent. But i dont agree with photographing kids unless my own or friends kids.

If I understand correctly, it is the owner of the property who has to give (or more correctly, may withold) permission, not the subject.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
17 Mar 2008 10:36AM
Data Protection Act is not about permission to take or use pictures, it's about permission to store data (digital images) on a computer.
SKavanagh 7 312 5 England
17 Mar 2008 5:47PM
I thought the DPA was about information about a person if it is a photo of a person like CCTV around the towns The DPA doesnt apply unless you are holding Data about the actual person and not just the image. Im not expert this is just how i understand it.
A private property it may be down to the owner Stolzy but a public place is ownerd by us as we pay the B----y taxman Smile . Just say i took a photo of a person in the park because it gave the thing i was taking a shot a scale would this then be classed as a breach of there DPA, if that said person then tried to make me delete that image either by asking why or by force would i have to delete it. The police can not ask any photographer to delete any photo unless it is of a sensitive nature ie. airports military.
I think this has turned into a rant sorry Smile
If anything why cant we just take photos of what who or where we want as long asits not harming anyone. The outside broadcasters do it all the time with people walking past the background do they get a writen consent form from every person NO they dont i was atoakley bridge in the floods with ITV and they didnt even ask the people they interviewed for the TV if they wanted to go on air.
Thats my rant over have a good evening everyone Smile
Steve
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
17 Mar 2008 5:53PM

Quote:The DPA doesnt apply unless you are holding Data about the actual person and not just the image.

I think the issue is that a digital image is data.
mrcal 10 1.0k
17 Mar 2008 6:07PM

Quote:The DPA doesnt apply unless you are holding Data about the actual person and not just the image. Im not expert this is just how i understand it.


Sorry, your understanding is wrong.

The MJSAYLES post above succinctly explains the plentiful information given by the Information Commissioners Office .

To paraphrase, an image of a living identifieable person is data under the DPA. The Act doesn't apply if the image is held purely for personal use.
SKavanagh 7 312 5 England
17 Mar 2008 6:16PM
How do the paps get around this ?
Steve
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
17 Mar 2008 6:18PM
One approach (which of course I wouldn't recommend) is just to ignore it Wink

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