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Behaviour of hired photographers #87
At Yahoo! Hack Europe, I just watched a professional photographer hired by Yahoo photograph an attendee who is asleep. blog post
This seems really shitty and problematic. It certainly left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.
Would there be any objections to adding words to the manifesto to the effect of "if you are going to hire a semi-pro or professional photographer for the event, instruct them to have some respect for attendees and not take photos when they obviously do not want to be photographed or cannot object to being photographed"?
There are moral and legal objections regarding privacy. Wikipedia's photo hosting site, Wikimedia Commons has grappled with this—see COM:IDENT. If an attendee doesn't wish to be photographed individually, event organisers should respect that wish. Photographs absolutely should not be taken when people are asleep since they are not in a position to reasonably object. Care needs to be taken to balance the openness and public nature of the event with the privacy of attendees.
This is something which has a gendered aspect too: just as women (as well as children, LGBT people and other groups) are harmed by real name policies, lack of respect for privacy at conferences may subject attendees in marginalized groups who naturally have a higher risk of online harassment to further unwanted risk and thus alienate them from the community and from attending future events.