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My previous company has recently updated their website, and included pictures of the employees as well as events and reviews to boost their image.

I don't know if they have asked permission to current employees to post pictures where they appear, but they have definetely not asked me (an ex-employee) if they could post a picture where I appear in their website.

I'm not comfortable appearing in their website and I wrote an email to the HR department asking them to remove the picture from their website.

HR has not replied to my email (which is not very surprising, since they usually reply very late or not at all).

My next steps will be to write again an email asking them to confirm that they have received my email and they are processing my petition, but I have little hope of receiving an answer.

So, what I was thinking to do is write a certified letter where I ask them to remove the picture from their website and I prohibit them to use my image or data for any promotional purposes of the company.

My question is: From a legal point of view, a certified letter proves that addressee has received the letter (since they have to sign the reception) but it doesn't really prove the content of the letter. So even if at a later stage I try to prove that I requested them to remove my picture with a certified letter, I cannot prove that the letter had this content.

How can I legally notify a company about something, so I have proof of reception and content?

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    In what jurisdiction? Please specify, and add the corresponding tag. – Nate Eldredge Sep 6 at 16:26
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    In many places, the answer is that you cannot create proof of what the letter contained - that can only be determined by a court - but you can create evidence. So far, you have your testimony as to what was in the letter, and the post office's evidence that it was delivered. If the recipient wants to claim the contents were something else, or that it was not delivered, they would have to provide their own evidence. A court would consider the evidence of both sides and decide whose case is stronger, based on an appropriate standard. – Nate Eldredge Sep 6 at 16:29
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    Does this answer your question? How to prove a party received a specific letter? – Saladani Sep 6 at 23:28
  • Unfortunately, you are trying to prevent someone else from saying something that is true. That is very, very hard to do. Since they aren't breaking any laws -- those are actual pictures and you don't hold copyright to them -- under what circumstances would you need legal proof you asked them to stop? – David Schwartz Sep 7 at 6:13
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Email

What you send is what they get - assuming it gets through. However, email delivery is very reliable (better than most postal services) and you usually know when it failed.

Do not rely on them having to follow links in an email though - case law has established that attachments are considered to have been delivered but that things that rely on an action of the recipient haven’t (unless you can prove they followed the link).

If it must be physically delivered

This might be due to physical limits (electronic files are too large to be emailed) or legal limits (some documents still require wet ink signatures to be valid).

Your testimony of what was in it is evidence of what was in it. Their testimony of what was in it is evidence of what was in it. If they vary then the trier of fact has to decide who they believe.

If you want more evidence, load the envelope in company - then you have the testimony of those people as well. Or video yourself doing so. Or both.

Mail is ok but personal delivery is better

A lot of mail delivery services are outsourced and some of the contractors have been known to ... cut corners - like signing for a delivery themselves and throwing the mail away.

If it’s important, deliver it yourself if possible (in company) or hire a process server whose explicit job is to deliver things in a legally verifiable way.

You probably can’t stop them

Since you are in the photo, we can assume you didn’t take it so you don’t own the copyright. Assuming they own the copyright they can do what they like with it.

Most jurisdictions do not recognise a right to privacy in photography.

Some recognise a right to publicity but that only really applies to widely recognised celebrities. Others recognise the tort of passing off which might be stretched to a claim that by putting you on their website you are endorsing their business when you aren’t but it’s a long bow, others also limit the use of photographs for advertising without a model release.

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  • In germany, you'd need positive allowance to pubish someone's photo if he is not a celebrity. – Trish Sep 7 at 6:33
  • @Trish so there are no newspaper photos in Germany – Dale M Sep 7 at 21:02
  • In Germany a certified delivery of a letter is not sufficient. What is in the letter must also be certified. This is called a förmliche Zustellung Zustellung nach ZPO ▷ Definition, Bedeutung & Durchführung. You submit a copy of the letter, togeather with the original and open addressed envelope. The certifying person would certify the copy and place the letter in the envelope seal and send it. A notification of delivery is then sent to you. – Mark Johnson Sep 7 at 23:56
  • @DaleM The OP is not asking about newspaper photos, but about the commercially use of his image by a business. – Mark Johnson Sep 8 at 0:05
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    That is always the problem when no jurasdiction is given. Your answer also give no jurisdiction. But portrait right is protected (at least) in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Switzerland and is often discribed as The portrait right is an exception or limitation to copyright under which a person portrayed in certain cases may preclude publication (publication or multiplication and dissemination) of his portrait. – Mark Johnson Sep 8 at 2:33

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