July 31st, 2005


pff privacy

Okay here's the thing. I see my camera as an extension of myself. My eyes plus a pause button maybe. I figure I can look at whatever I like, right? Is looking at something intrusive? Possibly. Is it an invasion of privacy to look at a stranger? I don't think my rights are being violated when someone looks at me, even if they're creepy or weird. Legally, looking is still well within my rights.

I take photographs of a lot of things I see, and many of the things I see are people. They're everywhere, and frequently in the midst of being interesting. I tend to photograph interesting things, and sometimes that involves random people.

Once, a few years back, a woman harrassed and scolded me for taking photographs of her, which was, as she put it, a violation of her privacy. I was stunned. I had never noticed, much less photographed this woman, but I couldn't honestly recall. I really had no response to her accusations. She was passionately, furiously adamant about her right to privacy and made me out to be some sort of horrible fascist-slash-pervert and I just stood there staring, just baffled and annoyed and incensed.

The concept of privacy is such a fallacy! If you're outside, in public, waiting at a bus stop with everyone else how is there any possibility of privacy? In public, when you are outside, people see you. High concept here. Buses, stores, stoplights and celphones are all equipped to capture "your" likeness. (It really isn't yours.) Satellite and aerial photography of much of the planet's surface are now widely available online - omg what if you were outside while those images were being made? Google maps owns. Anyway...

I will keep taking photographs.

[this was sparked by something I read on boingboing and subsequent links, and more subsequent links.]
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