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As I understand it, it's generally legal to photograph someone in public, because consent can be assumed. It has to work this way because otherwise it'd be impossible for e.g. journalists to take a photo of a rally.

Question: can the photographer still take the photograph if they are told "I do not consent to being photographed"? If the answer is 'yes they can still take the photograph', does telling the photographer "I do not consent to being photographed" change anything at all?

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  • What jurisdiction are you asking about?
    – Mark
    Sep 22, 2023 at 3:28
  • @Mark no real preference, I'm interested in all of them.
    – Allure
    Sep 22, 2023 at 3:42
  • @Greendrake not really, since the two questions asked are not addressed in that question, unless the answer is "it doesn't change anything at all", which is implied by the linked question but not said.
    – Allure
    Sep 22, 2023 at 5:37

2 Answers 2

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consent can be assumed

Nah, consent can't be assumed just by default: it defeats the very definition of consent. Some active indication that consent is given must be present.

However, where the right exists, consent is not required. Conversely, where consent is required, there is no right (unless granted by consent).

In most, if not all, jurisdictions, the right exists: if you can walk there without consent, you can take photos of what you can see — without consent — things, animals, people (including those who might think that you need their consent).

can the photographer still take the photograph if they are told "I do not consent to being photographed"?

Pretty much.

does telling the photographer "I do not consent to being photographed" change anything at all?

It may change your opinion of how tactful and considerate person the photographer is. But perhaps nothing more.

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No. If you are not a person of public interest, not present at a newsworthy event, being out in public does not give any implicit permissions to take a picture centered on yourself. But if you are one face among many on the bleachers of a sports event, withdrawing permission does not prevent press coverage of the game.

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  • indeed: the "right of the own picture" does not stop publishing pictures in which you are either "Beifang" (caught at the edge, out of focus) or part of a gathering/group (10 or more people)
    – Trish
    Sep 22, 2023 at 6:09
  • So, does becoming "a person of public interest" (whatever it means) automatically grant everyone the right to take pictures centered on yourself when you are out there in public?
    – Greendrake
    Sep 22, 2023 at 6:58
  • @Greendrake it opens more floodgates for publishing photos of you
    – Trish
    Sep 22, 2023 at 7:04
  • @Greendrake, it changes how the conflict between privacy and the freedom of the press gets balanced. There are still limits of what images can be taken.
    – o.m.
    Sep 22, 2023 at 10:09

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