Ethics of street photography and posting people's photos here...

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lorenzo Regular Member • Posts: 259
Ethics of street photography and posting people's photos here...
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In my browsing on DPR, I often see photos of people taken on the streets, outdoors, in parks, etc.  They show off the camera's zoom capabilities and image quality.

But I got to thinking about this, especially after one thread in which the photo of the same individual was presented under different image processing.  It was jarring seeing multiple photos of the same stranger.

I doubt that the people being photographed were asked permission or knew that they were going to end up “featured” in a photography forum!

I know I’d be more than upset if someone posted photos of me on the Internet without my permission.   I know the argument that if people are outside, they've given up some privacy rights, but I don't think it's that simple.  Of course, expectations of privacy are higher when people are in their own homes — you couldn't or shouldn't take zoom photos of people inside their houses or lounging by their pools or in their backyards.  There are even laws and voyeurism statutes against it.  But, similarly, just because someone is outside doesn't mean that they are consenting to being photographed or having their image paraded on the net.

It's worth noting that I have seen several beautiful, romantic photos of couples in striking poses in incredible light, where the photographer has commented he *asked for* and *got their permission* to take the shots.  That's honorable and impressive.  OTOH, it's doubtful that they were consenting to having their photos posted, either!

I realize that a strict privacy standard would virtually eliminate street photography of people — or make it more difficult — how would you ever get everyone's permission?

I have a similar concern about people posting photos of their own children — have the kids consented?  Are they aware enough or knowledgeable enough to give what is known as informed consent?  While many guidelines give parents the rights, that's still an ethical quagmire.   There is a growing movement — by teens and parents even — to stop posting of kids' photographs on Facebook, etc. especially ones that are publicly accessible.

Finally, I realize that there is something ironic about bringing this up during the pandemic when many people are confined to or sticking to their homes, but that may be just the time to think about it!

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