The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that taking someone’s picture without their consent (or in this case, taking a newborn baby’s picture without its parents’ consent) is a breach of fundamental human rights, whether or not the picture is ever published. The story is on OutLaw.com. [The judgment in Affaire Reklos et Davourlis c. Grèce is available only in French.]
“The Court reiterated that the concept of private life was a broad one which encompassed the right to identity,” said an ECHR press release about the ruling. “It stressed that a person’s image revealed his or her unique characteristics and constituted one of the chief attributes of his or her personality.”
Clearly PIPEDA would not cover this case in Canada, unless the collection of the personal information (the photo) was for commercial purposes. This is not clear form the story. Are provincial privacy laws aimed only at commercial uses? I would have thought not — that this restriction on PIPEDA stems from the need to have a constitutional reason for legislating on privacy, and interjurisdictional commerce is the one they are relying on.
Is this a problem? Should our law go this far?