I was riding home on the bus from summer school. A girl and I had a debate and she ended up frustrated and moved seats. The girl then started taking pictures of me. When I told her to stop, she continued to take pictures.

At the end of the bus ride, I told the bus driver to keep the doors closed so she can remove the pictures. The bus driver asked why, and I told her that I have a restraining order against my biological father.

My question is if the girl can be forced to remove the photos and more generally, can you force a person to delete a photo of you if you do not consent to it?

I live in northwest United States.

  • Hello, Aidancrash, and welcome to the law.stackexchange! Thank you for posting your question. I have edited it to make it more readable. Please review my changes to ensure that I have not changed the nature of your question. Should you find that I have done so, please feel free to role back the changes or alter the question further with the edit button. I hope you find your time here enjoyable and recommend that you take the tour, as we are a little different from other sites.
    – sharur
    Aug 2, 2019 at 18:55
  • 8
    How is a restraining order against your father at all related to this girl taking pictures of you? I don't see a connection, and you should clarify.
    – abelenky
    Aug 2, 2019 at 19:14
  • 1
    Generally speaking, if you are legally allowed to be somewhere, you are allowed to take pictures from where you are. The exception is if someone with authority over who gets to be there tells you that you cant take pictures. If this was a public bus, then unless there were notices indicating that she isnt allowed to take pictures, or perhaps the bus driver, she can tale pictures. Aug 2, 2019 at 20:08
  • 1
    I too am confused about what the restraining order has to do with anything.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 2, 2019 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


The United States has a fairly strict definition of where you have an expectation of privacy, a public bus certainly isn't a private place. In public, anyone can take pictures and video of anyone or anything else. You may have some sort of case if the girl were to use those photos to knowingly help your father violate the restraining order, but it doesn't sound like you believe that was the case.

  • The main limitation on taking pictures without someone's permission is the right to sue someone for "commercial appropriation of their likeness" which basically means that you can't make a profit out of using someone as a de facto professional model to sell a product without their permission without compensating them for the fair market vale of the modeling services. But, this doesn't mean that someone is prohibited from taking pictures or retaining pictures.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 2, 2019 at 21:02
  • @ohwilleke I would ask you to consider the wording of the question, the subject is clearly a minor which would entitle them to certain protections under juvenile protection laws. In addition if the minor is younger then 13 stricter regulation are put in place to protect their online privacy, this is one of the reasons to be on FaceBook you must be 13 or older. Aug 2, 2019 at 21:12
  • 3
    @StephanS Minors have no right to privacy that prohibits them from being photographed when they are in public no matter what age they are in the United States (apart from photography that amounts to pornography).
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 2, 2019 at 21:26
  • @ohwilleke Please, think of the setting, the minor isn't in public, he's on the school bus, which means he is on school property ,and schools have policies against photographing and filming students without parental consent. Although "policies" aren't law they are recognized by the courts. Aug 2, 2019 at 22:07
  • 1
    @StephanS A school could bar photography of other students without consent, but their only remedy would be punishing the offending student in some way themselves. Some jurisdictions do have Peeping Tom laws, but again they would apply to taking pictures of someone who has an expectation of privacy, not someone on a bus. Aug 3, 2019 at 0:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .