When did going out in public mean you’ve signed your rights away?

A few weeks ago I attended a convention where stars from the Harry Potter films attended. While the photo sessions were being conducted, attendees were asked to participate on stage in fun and games. While they were on stage, I saw via the convention’s Twitter stream that the audience were taking photos of those on stage and posting them to Twitter.

When I got home I tweeted the question “does going out in public these days mean you’ve agreed to have your image taken, uploaded and shared?” I am pretty sure that the people being photographed didn’t know that their images were being published and commented on by people across the globe.

I got one response from @LivAnon pointing me towards this wiki:


I’m not really sure if this answers my question as it doesn’t really refer to the plethora and ease of online publishing, but I do think that this whole area needs to be addressed.

I feel that if someone is going to publish your photo, they should ask permission. In fact, through the #vicpln group last year, one of the Elluminate session persevered explained that it is not only students/parents who we should seek permission from when publishing photos, but everyone.

However, when I went to the Supanova convention a few weekends ago, this sign spelled out clearly what could occur during the event:


I thought it was a great idea to have these signs around, because upon entering the convention, you had the choice to continue on in and accept the conditions, or turn around and go home if you didn’t.

With iPhones and the like these days, pictures can be taken, uploaded and shared within seconds. I think we all have to rethink this automatic sharing, particularly the sharing of personal images. The sign at Supanova made it quite clear that this might occur and I was happy with that. I’d been warned and made my decision to enter. But I don’t think that going out in public does mean you’ve signed your rights away the minute you step out of the front door.

3 thoughts on “When did going out in public mean you’ve signed your rights away?

  1. Not wanting to freak you out Judith (and this is getting into the creepy-techno big brother territory), but have a look at this augmented reality/facial recognition technology married with the social web.


    (and of course, the recent debacle around the hugely funded Color startup in the US – http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/03/23/color-app-a-new-frontier-in-social-networking-privacy/ )

    Privacy, the social web and data-mining is becoming increasingly important concerns in our super-connected world. Imagine when everyone’s phone does that in a few years. (ugh.)

    – Ian

  2. Yes I’ve read about the facial recognition technology. I am all in favor of progress, but sometimes we have to consider what we’re losing.

  3. Pingback: Who’s watching you? | The Way Forward

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