Ah, digital privacy. First off, I am not attacking the points made in the comment. They are correct in the statement of the laws existing today around the concept of images and who owns them. I want to point out that there are some people in public life, that would argue the reality of who owns that image is one that needs to be evaluated.
The laws were written around the appearance of a person in public. The laws loosely, I won’t go into the details, allow for the capture of images in public of people. If you are in a public place and someone takes a picture, they own that image. Again, if you ask many celebrities throughout the world, they would argue that point. I do note that this is the existing law; my posts are intended to bring up and sponsor a conversation about those laws. I have many friends who are brilliant photographers. They take amazing pictures. When the laws were created, the intent was to make it easier to capture images and share them. The reality is that the law was written at a different time. First off, no government allows embedded reporters to share all the images of a battlefield. They, the government, censor the images taken. Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites reserve the right to remove any photograph they deem not meeting their ethical or moral rules. The reality is that while the photographer may own the image, sharing that picture may not be acceptable.
These laws were written roughly 10-15 years ago. They have been updated, but in fact, they are not up-to-date. My concern, my issue, and feel that my privacy is being violated comes from the reality I shared first in the last post and now expanded in this post. First of all, let me remind everyone that you are being watched. The television show “Person of Interest” started with that line at the beginning of every show. “You are being watched.” It is clear to me that my freedom is being assailed. Why? Laws written in the time of 1, 2, or even three cameras taking and keeping my image, have remained the same. But now there are a billion cell phones, thousands of selfie drones, and millions upon millions of surveillance cameras taking and keeping my image. From my house around the neighborhood we live in, and back to my house, we encounter 44 cameras. Most of those track motion so, us walking by triggers them.
It’s time for the laws to change. It is time for the never-blinking eye of Sauron we call cameras to be turned off. I do understand the reality of crime. I do understand the reality of news photography. At the time the laws were written, the concept of privacy was being protected while allowing for creativity. I do not have a problem with someone taking pictures in a public square, and my image is captured. They are welcome to that, by law. I am more concerned with the million other cameras that are capturing my image. We are being watched, and at this point, we have no voice in what the watchers are doing with the images.
There is an old saying, “Who will guard the guardians,” and it comes from Rome and the Praetorian Guard. A group that overthrew a couple of emperors and replaced them with someone else. You can look up the many posts on Virily about Roman Emperors to read more on the topic. The guardians now have legal protection in capturing and keeping images. Frankly, that violates my privacy. I think it is time to change the law about security footage to say if a crime hasn’t been committed, security footage must be deleted in 30-45 days. Selfie drones will also require modification of the laws. If you disrupt the park or outdoor experience of others with your drone, then you must cease.
I don’t want a police state. Ever. If we don’t nip the expansion of camera’s around us soon, or limit what can be done with the information soon, we are going to have a lot of police states in the world. I also see a time coming soon when my image may not be my image.