Somebody Video Filming Your Home and Your Family?
January 11, 2007 2:58pm CST
If you discover that somebody other than a police officer is video filming your home, and the comings and goings of yourself, your parter and your children, can you take out a case against them, and sue them for their actions? I have heard of this happening recently. The offender was a neighbour, male, (and now the difficult bit, an immigrant, married with grown up children. Can this be classed as gross invasion of privacy? Does anybody know the guidelines on it? To my mind, anybody who videos children constantly should be reported somewhere, forthwith. They have absolutely no reason for video-filming anybody at all, let alone children unless they are a police officer gathering evidence. The difficult part is his race... can you get around the racist laws, put in place by the British Government? What are your thoughts on this? I feel he should be chastised and any film confiscated, but I would be interested to find how many of you agree and how many disagree.
• Edinburgh, Scotland
13 Jan 07
It is a free world that we live in and everyone has the right, within reason, to do what they like so long as no harm comes to anyone. We all get on edge when some stares or follows our every move and even a blind person will sense that they are being stared at. Most of the films that you see show people that are being filmed without there permission but does it hurt them, no. But as you point out there is a point that your privacy is breached, and like any celebrity will tell you there are reasons to take the intrusion to court to stop people doing what they do. We are very protective of our own lives and take steps to keep it that way. As to the type of video in question I would do the same to the person video taping me and tape and video them and that would make them feel very uncomfortable at doing it to me! I would follow them to where ever they live and video through there front window at there family, knowing that they could not take me to court for doing it to them as I would have proof that they were doing it to me first.
• Edinburgh, Scotland
14 Jan 07
I don't think it's illegal. It depends what you are going to do with those images. When the Royal family were younger everyone can take pictures of them (and still do!) and make money off them. The same with celebrities so it is not the taking of pictures it is the way you portray them.
14 Jan 07
I think the Royal Family is a slightly different matter, Deeeky. They're normally well-guarded against misdemeanour. Times change, as well, and with the number of child molestors, paedophiles and the likes about, I'm sure the law has tightened up. As Cloud said, in Australia you can't even film your OWN kid in a private place, and I experienced that here, at my granddaughter's drama recital. You just can't be too careful these days.
12 Jan 07
The laws are varied and complicated on this matter; depending on where the filming takes place, for what use the footage is used, and whether there is sound included. Copyright law means that the footage cannot be marketted or broadcast without the consent of the subject. Data Protection laws mean that you can demand copies of the footage, where it contains you (and you can act for a minor, in making such a request), and, there is generally regarded as a breach of privacy laws if sound is included (sound makes the matter a very different legal situation, as monitoring discussions requires a legal permit - even for the intelligence agencies, and this covers phone-tapping and bugging in particular). As to the matter of the individuals race, creed & colour, these are immaterial, as the aforementioned laws cover any UK citizen, and can be enforced against the resident of another country who is just visiting this country (eg tourist), though the case may then have to be in the country of the offenders residence. It can be costly to bring such an action, but as this seems to involve questions of child safety, I should imagine the Police, Local Authority & Child Protection Agencies would be more than happy to help with either guidance, or possibly help with a court case. I note that you are a UK resident, and should therefore try contacting the Citizens Advice department of your local council, first. They will be considerate, and listen, before advising you as to your best course of action. Hopefully, this is just an innocent misunderstanding, or there is some equally innocent reason behind this, but, I appreciate that when it comes to children we musy be vigilant, and err on the side of caution. I hope this has helped, and matters get sorted out quickly.
12 Jan 07
Thank you very much Adrenochrome for such a detailed and sensible reply. I will certainly suggest that the aggrieved person contacts the Citizen's Advice Bureau initially, to find out their rights and get legal advice. Have a Great Day, and thank you, once again.
• United States
11 Jan 07
In the United States it is legal to video tape a person as long as you do not enter their home to do it. It is sad but someone can legally stand on the street and tape you in your home if all the curtains are open. They can also tape you leaving your home and doing things outside. I agree with you that a person does not need to be filming other people for their own personal use. There is no reason for that.
• United Kingdom
11 Jan 07
Yes Darwing he is still going against our Law and no matter what Race he is it is against the law and as Children are involed I would say perversion to get it reported and if the Police does nothing go Public as it is not right and please be careful and watch the Kids But please report it it doesn't matter what Nationality he is
13 Jan 07
Hi Darkwing. Of course, I have no idea what the law is in Britain on this subject, so I cannot help. In Australia, the filming of children has caused quite an uproar. It is against the law for anyone to photograph children in a public place. Parents are now not allowed to photograph their OWN children playing sports, at matches or in a park. They are not allowed to photograph their OWN children playing on the beach. They are not allowed to snap their OWN children performing in a school concert. I think the argument is that other children might be included in the photo, and therefore all photos are banned. I'm all for doing everything possible to protect our children, but I think this is taking things a bit too far. Sorry I can't help in your situation. Hope you get satisfactory replies.
14 Jan 07
Thank you Cloud, for your valuable response. The law here about filming or snapping your own kids in a public place is similar, but doesn't apply to the beach and park, etc. My granddaughter belongs to a drama group, who put on a twice-yearly recital at the local theatre, in a studio, underneath the main theatre. Every year, we've been able to video and snap her, but last year, the council, who run the facility, made a rule that no videoing or photographing was allowed whatsoever, of children taking part in any performance there. This was laid down by a parent from a different group of children who had had a professional video cameraman at their performance, and he was stopped from videoing the show. Now, ok, that's fair enough. But, all the parents of the children in my g/daughter's drama group know each other, meet up with each other twice a week and work together to make scenery and stuff. Only parents and relatives are allowed to buy tickets for the performances, and they were stopped from filming their own kids... ridiculous, I say! However, somebody you don't know, or hardly know, videoing your kids, could be a bit of a threat. I don't agree with that at all, without your express permission.