Thursday, December 15, 2005

Photos and Tanning Salons

As reported by Ron Davis on CHATTER, a local gent bought a tanning salon, where you can look beautiful by getting skin cancer for only $20 per session. Turns out, said gent had more in mind for his business than artificial rays. He mounted a hidden camera in the room, and in the space of about three months got hisself quite a collection of tapes. We can't wait to try to ID some of the local Yuppies that got that "brown look" to get ready for that February vacation at Club Med.

Anyone who has been around the net more than ten minutes has seen some of these photos. I thought most of them were "fake" spy-cams because you can definitely spend time in the cell with Da' Dukester it you try it. Plus the quality -- well -- blows.

But since I like to do photography there are some rules that photogs follow. Cops will occasionally hassle photogs, but about one time of them getting sued stops that sort of thing.

First, bridges, buildings, airports, and the local Shriner's Parades are fair game. There have been incidents of photogs film and equipment being confiscated, but the confiscators have learned to regret it. Basically if you can see it from the sidewalk you can take a picture of it.

How about people? The issue is, does the person I am photographing have "a reasonable expectation of privacy." If you are in public, basically you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. You may or may not like having your photo taken, but if push comes to shove, there's nothing you can do about it. However, it's a judgement call, on the part of the photog. Most don't want to make assholes of themselves, they prefer to stay in the background, so will be courteous. There are also some grey areas. Suppose I am walking down the sidewalk and observe my neighbor sweeping the floor in the nude and the window open. The courts might say that she had given up her expectation of privacy, but then again, they might not.

But the perv at the tanning salon? This one is a slam-dunk no-no. I suspect he had more in mind than a personal collection of vids. An internet business proposal, maybe?

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