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Once it is up there in the Cloud .....

Once it is up there in the Cloud …..

I was looking through Marrickville Library Services today at the current workshops on offer when I saw the photo and video consent information,’ so I clicked this link – & found the following –  (bold is my emphasis).

“Photo and Video Consent information

By attending our events, you consent to Marrickville Library and History Services using and publishing photographs and/or videos containing your image. Photographs and/or videos may then be published to promote Marrickville Library and History in any of the Marrickville Library and History Services publications and materials (including though not limited to written, electronic or multimedia materials) for distribution anywhere in the world, or the Inner West Council Services publications and materials (including though not limited to written, electronic or multimedia materials), for educational, promotional or reporting purposes.

When giving your permission you should be aware that any information published on the internet is accessible to millions of users from all over the world, that it will be indexed by search engines and that it may be copied and used by any web user. This means that once the photograph is published, Marrickville Library and History Services we will have no control over its subsequent use and disclosure.

You also acknowledge that you are not entitled to any remuneration, royalties or any other payment from the Inner West Council in respect of the use by the Marrickville Library and History Services of the photographs and/or videos.”

Frankly I was shocked & annoyed at such demands made by Inner West Council to the community using services that they, the rate-payers have paid for. 

There are plenty of people in our community who do not want their photo or a video of them being uploaded to the internet to be accessed and/or used forever more by any person or organisation or company around the world.  In Council’s words, our images will be “accessible to millions of users from all over the world.”  And for what reason?

I think it is appalling that the Inner West Council requires residents to sign off their rights to privacy as a condition of attendance of any workshop, talk, event.

What about the rights of victims of domestic violence who may not want their ex-partner knowing where they or their children go around the community?  What about Silent Voters?   What about those people who do not want their image all over the internet for whatever reason?  Once there is one image on the internet, is it there forever.  You are searchable & poof! there goes your privacy.

When aggregated with other information, especially in times where many government departments & private companies possess facial recognition technologies, what council enforces on its ratepayers is nothing short of an instrument of impermissible surveillance & profiling by an unpredictable and unknown number of entities & people.

In comparison, anyone who attends a Council Meeting is prohibited from taking photos, record or film the Council Meeting. If you want to do any of that you are at the absolutely discretionary whim of Council to give you permission, plus you have to give your details & provide reasons why you want to take photos, record or video proceedings.

Whether or not you get permission is debated & voted upon by the Councillors at the start of the meeting & they can refuse to allow this.  If Councillors have the right not to allow residents to take photos or videos of them at Council Meetings, where is the equity for residents who may want to attend an activity at the Library without having their image taken in photo or video published on the internet or in other publications? If this isn’t a double standard, I don’t know what is.

I firmly believe that the Inner West Council is breaching the privacy rights of residents by extorting people this consent to attend any workshop, talk, group or activity arranged by the Library Service & that they should remove this requirement from their attendance agreement.

Furthermore, it is polite to ask attendees if they mind if their photo is taken or they are videoed & explain that this may be used on Council’s website or in Council publications.  Some residents might consent, but for those that don’t want this, they should be given a choice.

When photos or videos are taken it is easy to include in the frame only those who give their free & informed consent.

Doing so does not prevent Council from getting the happy snaps they need to spruce up their internet site, Facebook & Twitter posts or paper publications.

I don’t take people’s photo to use on this blog without asking first.  Council should behave with the same level of civility towards its community. It is not a matter of choice. It is Council’s obligation at law to respect people’s fundamental human right to privacy & not forcibly take away this right.





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