No more taking pictures of people in public in Europe anymore

Here we go folks down that slippery slope of stupidity once more.

It appears that the European Court of Human Rights has now ruled that the taking of a pictures without the explicit consent of the person being photographed is a violation of that person’s right of privacy – even if it is taken in a public and even if it is never used. This decision was the result of a court case involving a newborn baby who was put into a sterile unit when born. At that point as a part of a commercial service provided by the hospital they took a photograph of the baby.

The child’s parents in turn objected and demanded that the hospital hand over the negatives. the hospital refused and when the Greek courts refused to hear the case it went before the European Court of Human rights.

“The Court reiterated that the concept of private life was a broad one which encompassed the right to identity,” said an ECHR press release about the ruling. “It stressed that a person’s image revealed his or her unique characteristics and constituted one of the chief attributes of his or her personality.”

“The Court added that effective protection of the right to control one’s image presupposed, in the present circumstances, obtaining the consent of the person concerned when the picture was being taken and not just when it came to possible publication,” it said.

The ECHR said that the taking of the photograph breached the child’s right to a private life as guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that the Greek courts had failed to uphold that right.


This doesn’t bode well folks for all those photographers out there who bless us with some of the greatest pieces of art imaginable.

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