European Law prohibits filming the police in Davos
Saagar takes viewers through the agenda of the 2022 World Economic Forum held in Davos that made speech restriction and controls on free speech central to the agenda for the world to see
- During a 2018 trip to Italy, our tour guide in Florence told us to be careful not to take any photos of the police who were patrolling around the historical monuments. He said specifically “this is not America – this is not a free country. if they see you take their picture, they will confiscate your camera or phone and they will not return it. you don’t have rights here” It was pretty eye opening.Censorship isn’t designed to combat disinformation, it’s designed to combat dissent.
- “Recalibration of a whole range of human rights.” No.
- Right. The irony is that while you can’t film anyone without their consent, the overlords will be recording your every move using facial recognition software in fully automated cities.
- If it wasn’t for Sagaar I wouldn’t have found out that the WEF is in fact a privately owned organisation, that peddles (and makes lots of money from) providing corporate access to government officials. I am grateful he’s pointed out what an Australian government official has said at DAVOS because its NOT being covered here at all.
I wanted to know whether Sagaar was reporting an isolated incident or taking things out of context so I did more research. Here are some of the top search results for:
- Google Search: europe can’t film the police privacy
What the Law Says About Filming the Police in Europe
In some countries, moves are afoot to curtail documenting police actions.
Spain in 2015 enacted the Citizen Security Law (better known as the gag law) that threatens a hefty fine for the unauthorized publication and dissemination of images of the police.
In Belgium, a video blogger is appealing a €300 fine imposed by a court for filming and uploading two police officers’ response to an incident at a café, which in the court’s view violated their privacy. The Belgian interior minister is reportedly considering a formal legal ban.
The lower house of the Dutch parliament recently adopted a motion calling for a change in the law that would result in the prohibition of the publication of recognizable images of police officers.
.. The right to film or photograph the police is a key safeguard of human rights and civil liberties in situations, particularly in situations that present a high risk of violations, such as stop-and-search operations, identity checks, or protests. Activists have argued that filming the police in action is a way to de-escalate tensions and potential violence, as the police officer is forced to behave in accordance with the law. Where abuses do occur, victims often find their version of events will not be believed unless video and photo evidence are available to support their claim against the police.
Can I film the police in Germany?
There is no exception for police officers1, 2. The rules described above also apply to them1. You can’t share photos or videos of police officers without getting their permission or blurring their faces.
What happens if I don’t follow the rules?
The punishment is a fine, or up to 2 years in prison1, 2. People rarely go to prison, but fines and lawsuits are common1. In some cases, your camera can be confiscated1.
The subject of the photo can sue for damages1. They have 3 years to do this1. The 3 year period starts from the last time the picture was distributed1. Both the photographer and the publisher (including websites) can be sued1. You might have to pay for the victim’s legal costs1, 2.
Can I just blur people’s faces?
No. You must make sure that the person can’t be recognised1. For example, tattoos, clothes, hair styles and jewellery can be used to recognise a person, even if their face is blurred1.
The new French law that restricts photos and videos of police officers
What is the bill?
The proposed law, Loi relative à la sécurité globale (law on global security) is a major piece of security legislation covering issues regarding policing in France, several of which have drawn criticism.
.. Most controversial is the bill’s clause 24, which would criminalise the publishing of any photos or videos where a police officer or gendarme could be recognised, if there is an intent to harm their “physical or psychological integrity”.
It’s similar to a bill that came before the parliament in the spring, which failed to pass, but this time it has been backed by the Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
“My job as interior minister is to protect those who protect us,” Darmanin told BFMTV.
“I had made a promise, that it would no longer be possible to broadcast the image of the police and gendarmes on social media. That promise will be kept,” the interior minister said.
European Union Court finding:
The defendant, Sergejs Buivids, made a video recording inside a Latvian police station whilst he was there giving a statement in connection with administrative proceedings that had been initiated against him. The video showed the police facilities and a number of police officers going about their duties. Mr Buivids then published the video on YouTube.
.. Further, there is no express exception in the Directive excluding the processing of personal data of public officials, and case law shows that the fact that information is provided as part of a professional activity does not mean that it cannot be characterised as “personal data”.
According to case law, “journalistic activities” are those that have as their purpose the disclosure to the public of information, opinions or ideas, irrespective of the medium used to transmit them.
The CJEU said that it was for the referring court to determine whether “journalistic activities” applied here, but the CJEU could still provide guidance.
The question for the Latvian court was whether the sole purpose of the recording and publication of the video was the disclosure to the public of information, opinions or ideas. To that end, it should take into account Mr Buivids’s argument that the video was published online to draw attention to alleged police malpractice, which he claimed occurred while he was making his statement. However, establishing malpractice was not a condition for the applicability of Article 9.
In this case, the CJEU said, it was possible that the recording and publication of the video, which took place without the persons concerned being informed, amounted to interference with their right to privacy.
Filming Police on Duty in the UK
The police have no power to stop you filming or photographing officers on duty. Recording film footage on a police incident, or taking photographs of their actions, is not illegal.
But, you must follow some basic guidelines..
Some English photographers have been stopped and searched using the “terrorism” loophole.