One of our loss prevention experts reported an interesting situation at a facility with a swimming pool. After taking photos of their children playing in the pool, a parent posted them online. Another parent, whose child was visible in the photos, was upset to see their child on the internet and complained to the facility. With smart phones, everyone has a camera in their hands these days and parents are often documenting their kids’ activities and then sharing them on the internet. So how can organizations handle these situations?
In most cases, it’s safe to assume people can take photos in a facility as long as it’s not expressly forbidden. Generally, the law allows photos and videos unless the facility posts warnings on the premises that they aren’t allowed. If, however, a building/business owner asks someone to stop taking photos on their premises, they must stop. Photos and videos are not allowed in areas that are expected to be private, like bathrooms and locker rooms.
Facilities should have signs in locker rooms/bathrooms prohibiting photography. However, for the rest of the facility, it might be helpful to have signs asking patrons to use good judgement and assess the situation and environment before taking photos. Alternatively, the facility could choose to ban photography on the premises altogether but this could also cause issues with enforcement.
If issues do arise, encourage members to talk to each other about this and, hopefully, reach a compromise. Maybe the parent can take a photo from another angle or wait until the other child is out of view. Or perhaps the photo can be cropped before being posted online. While not a simple issue with a simple answer, you can avoid or resolve conflicts by using good judgment and common sense.