Being a photographer myself, I have encountered these situations as well. I respect privacy of others as being morally right. I believe it isn't illegal to photograph from public locations. Each state can vary with their laws though....but generally photographing something without consent isn't illegal at all even with commercial use unless it has a distinguishable face of someone or a trademark. You would then need permission to use such photo with their face or trademark in it.
As far as privacy questions....
A person has a right to privacy that the law protects...
The "expectation of privacy," as a legal concept with a precise definition, is found only
in U.S. case law
. It is related to, but is not the same thing as a right of privacy
, a much broader concept which is found in many legal systems (see privacy law
There are two types of expectations of privacy:
- A subjective expectation of privacy is an opinion of a person that a certain location or situation is private. These obviously vary greatly from person to person.
- An objective, legitimate or reasonable expectation of privacy is an expectation of privacy generally recognized by society.
Examples of places where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy are person's residence and public places
which have been specifically provided by businesses or the public sector to ensure privacy, such as public restrooms
, private portions of jailhouses
or a phone booth
In general, one cannot have an expectation of privacy in public places, with the exceptions mentioned above. A well-known example is denial of privacy for garbage
left for collection in a public place.
While a person may have a subjective expectation of privacy in his car
, it is not always an objective one, unlike a person's home.
The privacy laws of the United States
include the notion of a person's "open fields"
; that is, places where a person's possessions do not have an objective expectation of privacy
But with all else...why not just ask?