Lets say that I want to take a picture or record a video of a city I am visiting in Europe and like its inevitable people will appear in the picture or video. I cannot do this before asking permission to everyone that appears on the picture? If I witnessed or I am the victim of any type of agression or abuse on the street or at work, I cannot record it because I will face legal consecuences?
Technically, yes, GDPR might apply. Filming other people does involve the processing of personal data, and GDPR will apply unless this is for “purely personal or household purposes”.
But exactly that will be the case for most holiday snapshots or short clips for your personal social media. As far as I understand, you do not have to worry about purely personal activities.
Even if GDPR would apply, this doesn't mean it would be illegal. It means you'd need a “legal basis”, such as a “legitimate interest”. If there are just a couple of people in the background of a video, it's possible that their rights might weigh less important than your interest in shooting the video – but that would need a case by case analysis. Your legitimate interest would almost certainly prevail if you need to record a crime to which you are victim.
Regardless of GDPR concerns, note that this is just a small aspect of legal concerns. Instead, also consider
- personality rights
- copyright (if art or architectural works are visible) / freedom of panorama
- customs and reasonable expectations of other people
These issues will depend largely on the specific country or area you are travelling to. Europe is not homogenous in its perception of privacy issues. For example, consider the issue of dashcams in a car. These are considered to be quite normal in some European countries, but effectively illegal in others.
No, I think the GDPR only applies to what are known as "data controllers." If you are not a large organisation or a business, then you are not required to comply, if I'm not mistaken. In other words if the data is being generated/stored/processed only for "household use" then you are not subject to the requirements.