Say I'm shooting some video of an interview, and one of the people in frame claim that they do not consent to the use of their likeness in any film or derivative (or some similar phrasing). Can I face swap their face with an animated gender-neutral face (with a purple skin color or something) to capture their natural facial reactions to questions, etc. Of course, I'd have to distort their voice too.

The whole idea here, if it's not obvious, is that I want the facial expressions in relations to questions, etc., while also preserving the non-consenter's right to privacy.

Update: This is what I'm talking about:


1 Answer 1


Since California is an all-party consent state, you need the consent of the interviewee to record him. You can openly record so that they know you are doing so, in which case consent is implicit. (Also, if there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, but I don't see how that could apply to an interview). If they insist on you using some kind of face-altering technology, then that's what you have to do (i.e. if their consent is conditional, you have to satisfy that condition). No amount of voice-alteration or face-distorting overcomes the requirement for consent. So it is legal to distort the face and voice, and may be required in order to obtain consent.

  • I'm asking specifically in the case that they don't consent, then can I have a program that puts a generic face over theirs, but where the generic gender/race neutral face still moves (squinting, eyebrow raising, etc.) true to the non-consenter's original facial reactions, but clearly leaves no way to identify them in the film. Does that make sense?
    – user11352
    Apr 13, 2017 at 18:19
  • In California, regardless of the modifications you make to the interview, you have to have the interviewee's consent.
    – user6726
    Apr 13, 2017 at 19:13
  • You have to have their consent to make modifications of their likeness even when the modifications occlude their identity? How can so many YouTube personalities have blurred faces of individuals who say no to being in the film? Are you saying that the non-consenter must consent to blurred versions of their likeness in a film?
    – user11352
    Apr 13, 2017 at 20:25
  • You need their consent to even make the unmodified recording, If they consent to that, then you can modify the voices and images, unless their consent specifically is contingent on you not making modifications. To repeat: you have to first get consent to record; anything else depends on whether that consent is conditional.
    – user6726
    Apr 13, 2017 at 20:44
  • I mean like this. Keep their words, but acknowledge their non-consent to use of likeness and also keep their facial reactions. Or is that protected when they say "I do not consent to use of my likeness"?
    – user11352
    Sep 13, 2017 at 2:25

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