Know your rights (U.S.) when taking pictures in public places: (*Note that this is a general overview of your rights, and NOT legal advice)

REMEMBER to always TURN OFF your shutter sound and flash. If a cell phone company does not allow you to shut off your shutter sound when you take pictures or videos then DO NOT buy it from that provider.

1. It is LEGAL to take a woman’s picture/video in public places like parks and sidewalks. It would be wise to MUTE or turn off the sound when videotaping so that private conversations are not recorded. If it is a public place with a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in a restroom or locker room, then it is ILLEGAL to film her. Taking photos/videos at weird or bizarre angles like upskirt shots are considered lewd and ILLEGAL. Remember that men who take ILLEGAL upskirt pictures are often caught by security cameras so don’t be stupid.

Examples of guys getting caught taking ILLEGAL upskirt pictures/videos on security cameras:

2. Taking pictures of minors, especially preteens, is ILLEGAL in some states without parental consent, especially at city pools, schools or indoor playgrounds, and is a foolish thing to do for obvious reasons.

3. In semi-public places like shopping malls, bars/clubs, and restaurants if an employee, manager, or owner asks you to STOP photographing/videotaping from within their business/premises then you must STOP because it is private property and it could be looked upon as harming their commerce. If you continue to take photos/videos then you can be charged for trespassing if you don’t leave the property. The best thing to do is tell him/her that you did not know that taking pictures/videos was not allowed in his/her place of business and put your phone/camera away if asked to do so. Remember that your phone/camera is your private property so DO NOT allow the employee, manager, or owner to confiscate it from you or look at your pictures/videos.

4. NEVER take pictures through a person’s window even from a public sidewalk because it violates her right to privacy. NEVER take pictures of places with signs that ask you to not photograph like many military installations, inside courthouses, and medical facilities.

5. When confronted, and you are not breaking the law, STAY CALM, SHUT OFF YOUR PHONE WITH YOUR SCREEN LOCK ON, and tell that person you have the right to photograph in public places. It might help to let that person know that there are street and security cameras recording him/her everyday, and there is no expectation of privacy in public places. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR SCREEN LOCK ON WHEN YOUR PHONE SHUTS OFF SO THAT NO ONE CAN HAVE EASY ACCESS TO YOUR PHONE’S CONTENT. Remember that NO ONE is allowed to take your phone/camera away from you in a public place. The police CANNOT have your phone/camera (or film or SD card) without a court order. However if you are breaking the law, like filming someone in a bizarre angle (upskirt), restroom or locker room, then the police can arrest you and get a court order to confiscate your phone/camera.

6. Know the laws of the state or country regarding public photography and videotaping that you reside in or plan to visit.

7. Remember that law enforcement can extract deleted pictures/videos off your phone just like they can from your personal computer.

The reason for this message is I watched a video on youtube of a guy being confronted by nosy jerks who didn’t know the law or his rights. He was videotaping a chick in her late teens stretching out on a public sidewalk and her mommy told him to quit taping her.

Another version:

*Notice that he made the mistake of focusing in on her ass and not paying attention to the people around him. It was still LEGAL, because the taping was done at a normal angle and in a public place, but it caused him trouble when he could had easily avoided it by being more careful. His attitude after getting caught did not help him at all.

ALWAYS pay attention to people behind and beside you when filming in public places. If you see someone trying to catch you by looking over your shoulder at your phone/camera then politely tell him/her to stop invading your privacy. NEVER show any confrontational person what you are filming because it violates your privacy. Nosy people are everywhere so be careful, polite, and knowledgeable of your rights and the law.

For more information: … -in-public

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