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Room at the inn for a photographer?

10 December 2010

Can you take photos of your child performing in the school nativity production? It comes as no surprise that people are confused. The law in this area is difficult and complex. This leads to defensive practice. If you say “no”, the risk of breaching the law is removed.

However, knee-jerk refusals cause damage themselves. As well as restricting liberty, they are often contrary to common sense. The area of health and safety is held in low esteem by the nation for this very reason. Information sharing (often and revealingly simply called 'data protection') could go the same way.

The Information Commissioner has this week released guidance dealing with this specific issue. He says clearly that taking photos for your family album, for private use, is lawful. The return of common sense, many people will respond. Yet most schools and sports clubs are not so relaxed, and do impose some restrictions. Let us hope the season of goodwill extends to the family snapper.

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