Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blogging and privacy

I've been giving a lot of thought to blogging and some of the privacy concerns that may arise from sharing your thoughts, links and pictures with the outside world.

I've always been on one side of the fence blogging my heart out ~ sharing my thoughts, sharing my photos and sharing my world including my family and friends. It never occurred to me that perhaps someone I care about doesn't like having their name or photo posted all over my blog (to tell the truth it really hasn't ever been an issue and I've always tried to be respectful).

But last weekend in Calgary I had two separate incidents where I ended up being the subject matter in two separate blogs (one I knew about, the other I didn't). First, to my surprise and to the congrats and kudos of friends far and wide, my girlfriends and I ended up in famous Calgary blogger Kelly Oxford's Eject last Friday.

When I connected with Kelly via Twitter this past Monday she asked right away if I wanted the pictures she had posted taken down. While this blog posting had happened without any permissions given by me or the other girls we decided to let things ride and we told Kelly to keep the pictures up. We've had a lot of people connect with us based on that one little post last Friday.

Later this week while in the back end of Blogger working on my own blog I noticed a posting done by Foxy Boudoir ~ a company that I had just done a photo shoot with while in Calgary last weekend. They had taken a handful of photos from my session and posted them on their blog.

I had known that something like this would be happening (heck I was writing a testimonial for them right then) but I had assumed that there would be a heads-up or permission asked to post the photos before they would publish anything. Apparently those photos were just a teaser for me (and the world) to enjoy until I can get down to Calgary again to view the whole lot of pics.

So I've been thinking all week about both situations. One I knew about, the other I didn't. Both affected me differently. Oddly enough the impromptu posting by Kelly Oxford didn't bother me as much as the somewhat known posting by Foxy Boudoir. Why? I think it was because I had expected to be giving my permission for the Foxy Boudoir blog posting.

It also got my brain thinking about taking pictures and/or video in public places and posting them online. We do it daily through Facebook, Twitter and on blogs. But do we need to ask people's permission before we post this material? Where are the guidelines in this ever changing medium? What are the best practices? I'd love to hear some of your thoughts.


  1. In a public crowd setting it seems to be becoming acceptable to post photos. But to focus in on an individual I think you ought to get their permission first.

  2. I agree with Tema. Reality nowadays is that everyone is taking pics and there is no reasonable way to get permissions from everyone at a bar or restaurant etc, because you managed to capture half of their face as they walked behind your shot (Serves em right I say, rude!)
    Anyway, I digress!
    If at any time you are posting pics and such, if the parties are known to you, you may want to let them know and they can decide whether they are comfortable with it.
    I have had numerous instances where Facebook friends have asked me to remove a picture or at least their Tag so that family/friends/coworkers/church goers, dont see the alternate lifestyle shenanigans these people can get up to.
    Privacy should always be respected, and protected where possible. If you know em, ask em, otherwise, its fair game!
    If I saw my mug on some random picture, besides feeling all creeped out and spooked, It wouldnt bother me. It DIDNT bother me when Google Earth got a picture of me driving my car on a highway... Immortalized!

  3. Thanks for the comments. You both mention the importance of asking those involved. I've tried to be a lot more sensitive and timely with getting those permissions and from what I hear in your comments I just need to remain diligent!

  4. I think notifying a model in advance would be the courteous thing to do, but if the release indicates that they are allowed to use the images in that way, then it shouldn't be totally unexpected.

    Model releases are just one type of legal document that could stand some updating in light of today's methods of communication. The language in the release should specify blogging and social media if the company intends to use the images that way. Maybe model release agreements could even include some kind of notification of publication clause..