Is It Legal To Post Picture Of Minor Without Parental Consent
Since the year 2000, there has been an increase in public concern over photographing children and adolescents, as well as how these pictures are utilized.
This has increased as internet use has increased — remember the year 2000 and dial-up connections? Since then, it seems that public knowledge of pictures and their applications has increased.
With the rise of social media, many parents are attempting to keep their children’s pictures and names out of the spotlight for a variety of reasons, one of which is to preserve and protect their digital imprint.
Some children may be subject to child protection problems and orders, while others just wish to allow their children decide for themselves whether or not they want to be discovered on social media in the future, while still being aware of their kid’s digital imprint. Children who have previously been in care or who have been exposed to abuse, for example, may not be included in photographs, which is why many people wonder whether it is illegal to publish pictures of children without their permission.
However, we found ourselves in a situation this week when my kid was taken without his knowledge and the picture was published in the news.
Although his name was not mentioned, it was obvious from the picture that it was my kid, and he was readily identifiable if you were familiar with him.
What about newspapers publishing pictures of children without their parents’ permission?
Contrary to common perception, anybody may snap and publish a photograph in a public area. As I discovered, that picture may be used online or even published in a newspaper.
What happened to us was that a newspaper writer took my 15-year-old son’s picture without his knowledge.
It was then used to accompany a newspaper story about a football game where people were fighting and the police had to break up groups of individuals. My kid was not engaged in the claimed brawl; in fact, he was at home at the time! That didn’t matter, however.
My kid was photographed on his way to a football game at 2 p.m. after the event occurred in the middle of the morning.
Laws prohibiting the use of photographs taken without permission.
I first became aware of it when the picture was posted online and subsequently shared on the newspaper’s official Facebook page.
Despite the fact that my son’s name was not used and he was not contacted by the photographer, I was not pleased with the photographer publishing an image of a group of three youngsters without my permission.
I instantly assumed that capturing and releasing a photo of my kid would be against the law of some kind, so I went online to look up the laws prohibiting people from posting photos of their children without their permission.
However, I quickly found that the law was not that simple. Because the picture was taken in a public location, the photographer could use it whatever he or she wanted.
This was not what I had hoped to hear, particularly because the picture had been associated with a violent event.
When the picture was taken, did the person have a reasonable expectation of privacy?
Photographs taken while a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy include:
A photograph of a person standing in their underwear in their bedroom, taken through the window from the yard outside.
A photograph of someone taken with a concealed camera in a public restroom.
“You don’t have my permission to picture me,” says a person standing on a public roadway.
A picture of a friend taken while visiting a friend’s home by another friend, provided the photographer was not there illegally (i.e. was invited)
A photograph of another student taken in class or on campus at a school or university by someone legally present.
The question is whether the subject of the photograph could reasonably have anticipated privacy at the time the photograph was taken.
How I Handled a Newspaper That Used Photos Without Permission
I immediately handled the issue since I didn’t want the magazine to use a picture of my kid without my permission.
I first contacted the news desk, pointing out that the picture didn’t match the title and suggested that people in the shot were the ones who were engaging in anti-social behavior.
Second, I said that they had taken photographs of children without their permission. Finally, I requested that the article be taken down.
I received a fast response stating that the article was in the public interest and would not be removed. They agreed, however, that the picture had no relevance to the narrative and that my kid would be cropped out.
After a few minutes, I checked and was happy to find that the picture had been trimmed. I soon saw, however, that the Facebook thread had not been updated.
This was rectified after a second email, and they agreed that any remarks mentioning my son would be deleted as well.
This showed the need of being proactive in this circumstance. I was quite specific about what I wanted, which was for the picture to be deleted.
I requested that it be taken down because I was worried that his instructors would see the coverage and conclude that my adolescent had engaged in anti-social behavior, which is far from the case!
I was aware that the whole article would not be withdrawn, but I expected the picture to be removed, which it was.
However, just asking whomever uploaded the pictures to take them down and explaining why is often enough to have them removed.
If there is a minor in the picture, I would call it out in the hopes of influencing a good result.