Using images of people: photographs, videos and webcams
Since the introduction of the Data Protection Act in 1998, we must be very careful if we use photographs, DVDs and webcams of clearly identifiable people. Also, increased use of the internet has led several people to ask us for advice on using images of children and adults both on our website and our printed publications. We offer separate guidelines for schools and for other County Council staff.
The Data Protection Act 1998 also affects our use of photography. There are several issues you should be aware of:
Data Protection Act 1998
You must get the permission of all the people who will appear in a photograph, DVD or webcam image before you record the footage. That means children as well as adults. Consent forms for both children and adults are available.
You must make it clear why you are using that person's image, what you will be using it for, who might want to look at the pictures and how long it will be kept.
If you are taking images at an event attended by large crowds, such as a sports event or a festival, this is regarded as a public area so you do not need to get the permission of everyone in a crowd shot. People in the foreground are also considered to be in a public area, but we suggest that photographers address those within earshot, stating where the photograph may be published and giving them the opportunity to move away. If you want to use an image of, for example, the winner of a race at a sports event - with the crowd in the background - you must get the race winner's verbal permission and record the fact that you have done so. You can record their consent on a verbal consent form when you take the photograph or when you return to your office. See also Frequently asked questions.
If you intend to use images from an agency, it is the agency's responsibility to get permission from all those appearing in the image before it is recorded. However, you must take reasonable steps to ensure that the agency has obtained consent. For example, you could ask the agency to do this, then record on file that consent has been obtained, and sign and date the file note.
You can find out more about how the Data Protection Act affects Hampshire County Council by visiting our data protection web pages.
Specific corporate guidance
We have specific guidance for both schools and County Council staff about procedures for taking photographs or recording DVD footage of people. We also have a set of consent forms that you can use for your project.
If you are new to the Using images of people guidance, please read all the relevant sections to ensure that you don't overlook any important information.