Right to privacy in public place

As part of my role at work I am required to photograph cars and upload them to our website and autotrader, I have been using a privately owned car park (which I have permission to use) without any problems,the car park is next to a park and the owners allow other people to o use the cark park , today we received an email from a person complaining they were in one of the images and could we remove them from it and also there number was in shot too , under gdpr do they have any right to request this or not ,I have deleted the photos and will reimage them tomorrow but unsure as to how we stand legally.thanks

I think this is a question for a GDPR-specialist lawyer, not a bunch of drone nerds!

But …

This is for a business. So what does your business GDPR policy say? It should set out what data your business collects, and what you will use it for, and demonstrate that this is reasonable and proportionate.

If it doesn’t say anything about collecting details of cars that are unrelated to your business, and where they were at a particular time, then perhaps avoid doing that?

Car registrations are specifically listed by the ICO as data that can be used to indirectly identify a person, see Can we identify an individual indirectly from the information we have (together with other available information)? | ICO.

If you photograph their car, and share it on your business website, then it could be used by someone with access to the registration database to identify who they were, and where they were, and when. I can think of lots of reasonably privacy related reasons why someone might not want that information made visible.

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Google had to do an enormous amount of work to blur peoples faces and i think car registration numbers when the did Streetmap for this reason.

Mmmm, maybe they were somewhere they were not supposed to be.

Is there any signage or anything in the car parks terms and conditions that states that images maybe taken and used in such a way?, if not I would say you are on sticky ground.

Your employer should have a data protection officer, they would be the first call I’d make.

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Thank you for your input nice to hear other people’s advice, if he had come and spoke to me I would have happily moved to a different area where he would have been out of shot

What an absurd world we live in. I live in the US but just returned from a wonderful trip to the UK. I spent some time in London and surrounds. I know while “in public” I was photographed/videographed hundreds of times. I am certain while in public at the tube stations I was on many cameras. While driving down the M’s and the A’s I had my picture taken many, many times.
I realize there are different implications in this situation, but seriously, if these folks knew how often they were photographed without their knowledge or permission, they would freak. We have truly walked through the Looking Glass.

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I would say as an organisation if someone contacts you to request deletion of data relating to them then you should comply. I am no expert in GDPR but in part of our business we take photographs for enforcement purpose and we will blur faces or other vehicle registration numbers that may have been captured as part of that process as that is personal information.

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The right to privacy, much the same as other rights, is based on the term reasonable expectation.
In a toilet you have an absolute expectation of privacy. In your front yard, you have an expectation of privacy based on what can be seen from a public place, by the naked eye.
In a public place, you have almost no reasonable expectation of privacy as you can be observed with the naked eye by people also sharing the same public space.

That said, it is a courtesy to blur faces and license plates. In the case oh Google maps, they blur things for several reasons including, keeping the frivolous complaints down, unexoectedly photographing private or security information, profiting based on images (Google maps offers paid subscriptions also)etc. 99% of the time, they dont have to by law but it just makes life easier, otherwise they’d need a team of people responding to complaints, reviewing images for legal purposes etc.

In your case, as it is used for profit, it’s just easiest to blur other people’s info. Save the hassle, whether legal or not

Re: profiting from images. If you happened to take a pic of Johnny Depp walking onto your lot to look at cars or driving the same model car as one you are selling, he could claim that you are using his image to increase business profits. He’d then have to determine how much you stand to profit from his image in order to recover money, similar to defamationbut in reverse. It’s very expensive for him snd very hard to determine.

Again, i doubt anyone could enforce a law that would effect you at all however, it’s just easiest to blur images with people’s personal info and ID, most do so anyway.

[quote=“JSharp, post:6, topic:68934”]
at turns out to be, you did the right thing[/quote]

Agreed, in this case - but in most circumstances, there’s absolutely no reason to blur license plates. It’s not easy for most people to find out the owner of a vehicle from the registration number and if the vehicle is parked in public, anyone who could trace it can do so anyway. The same would be true of a vehicle parked on private land, clearly visible from a public space. A shot on private land, not visible from public space - a multi-storey car park, for instance, would be more questionable - but even then if it is freely accessible by the public, I don’t see a problem. A private, underground car park at a business premises… maybe.

The only time I would blur a license plate ‘out of courtesy’ would be a person who a member of the public might reasonably be expected to recognise, getting into or out of a car. Even then, if it’s - for example - a footballer who goes to the same training ground in the same car and parks in a car park visible from a public area I wouldn’t bother - anybody who wants to know whose car it is already knows, or can find out easily.

You have no right to privacy in public places, you do in private places.

Think street photography, people are having their pictures took every day, by photographers, and by private CCTV.

I’m slightly against the taking photos of people in a cafe for example from across the street, but there’s whole genre’s of this.

Your Rights As A Photographer - Institute of Photography (institute-of-photography.com)

Can You Take Photographs In Public? Can You Film In Public? Terrorism Searches | BlackBeltBarrister - YouTube

10 Facts Every Street Photographer MUST KNOW | BlackBeltBarrister - YouTube

The point you mention is street photography, any private individual can go around taking photos as they please, if it is for business it is different, GDPR applies to organisations, not individuals.

You can request a householder deletes footage of you if you have been captured on a domestic CCTV, if that was to happen to me I’d be spending ages deleting or trying to mask everyone who or drove past my house.


Can’t you set the trigger points to just be on your property. Mine is. Doesn’t catch anything of anyone walking on the street or cars going past.

Mine is set so as I can see/record what happens beyond the boundary (had some issues years ago when we first moved in), I also have areas set and get intrusion alerts if someone moves into an area but it also records everything the camera can see, I can mask areas to obscure them but that would defeat the object. You’d be surprised how many times neighbours and more so the Police have been knocking on the door for footage, as yet none of them have expressed surprise at what can I see, especially from the PTZ camera on the front. :eyes:

Huh, the house we moved into has all sorts of CCTV and burglar alarm, no instructions for any of it, so no idea how any of it works or if it’s doing anything. Switches all over the house with loads that I have no idea what any of them do, so I’ve probably turned it all off.

Going to have to get someone to come round to try and figure it all out (who will no doubt say its all old and crap and i should replace it with the latest and greatest that’s over complicated and even less intuitive)

Anyway, taking it off topic. We’ll get a slapped wrist soon.

So can many organisations, in practice. The list of exemptions is long. This is just one.


Try and find a piece of specific legislation that references the use for example of CCTV in toilets… I don’t think it exists.

It definitely doesn’t. But you do need to be very careful how you review the footage…

You can “dont think” allvyou like, it changes mothing. Specific legislation for CCTV is not required, it is covered in the UK by the Sexual offenses Act 2003 specifically outlined to protect children, yet has been covered by voyeurism laws for over a century. In Canada, where I live, the same reasonable expectation applies. I had to acquire a license for CCTV implementation when I designed security systems for public and private spaces.

The point is, and as I’ve clearly explained already, when it comes to privacy law, it is based on a ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy. I then described the difference in places where a reasonable expectation applies.
Are you suggesting that an absolute expectation of privacy is not deemed a “reasonable expectation” in both a public andcprivate toilet? Reasonable expectation allows for the grey area where a judge is able to make a decision relative to the application of the privacy law.

Blimey calm down… :joy:. You seem to have got a bit hot around the collar.

Not at all, you said you don’t think a law exists regarding privacy in a toilet. It does, as I described. It’s not a matter of what I think, it’s a matter of law, which I understand very well. End of.