Can someone just take a picture of me? When do I need to give my consent and what about privacy?
These are all very relevant questions we ask ourselves when pictures are taken of us, our partner or children. But what is allowed and what is not allowed? And how does this relate to the new privacy rules (GDPR)?
Unfortunately, the rules in this respect are not so simple and unambiguous. The privacy rules certainly play a role here, but we must not forget that there are portrait rights and copyrights.
Portrait rights = the rights of the person portrayed, or the person in the photo.
Copyrights = the rights of the person who made and edited the photo.
We can simply state that the photographer is always protected in the work that he makes. You can’t just copy, change, print, or use photos for yourself etc. The photographer is the owner of this and has to agree every time you want to do something with that image. However, you have to pay attention to whether there is a person in the picture. If there is a person in this picture, then this person is protected by the portrait right. A photographer can’t just take a picture of you without your consent. The agreement for this can take all kind of forms, for example posing for a photo, is also seen as ‘agreeing with the fact that a photo is being taken’. A contract can also be signed, for example for modelling, newspapers or fashion magazines.
Below are some examples of situations in which portrait rights are wholly or partially not applicable:
– you take a picture of a church and some tourists pass by while you are taking the photo. The main goal is the photo of the church and not of the people;
– the people in the photo are not or hardly recognisable. Like the picture above, there are so many people in it that it is not about a person but about the group;
– if you are in a public location, for example, at a music festival, you can expect photos to be tasks; -when you act as a public figure, think of a prime minister, a street artist, or the captain of a football team.
– if the photo is intended for journalistic work;
You see, there are a lot of rules and exceptions. What is important for you to know is that you are also a photographer when you take pictures with your smartphone and put them on Instagram. So be careful when taking photos and of where you post them. I can imagine that you would not like to see a photo on social media that you didn’t intend to share with others.