The problem with images is that they can be kept forever….

Traffic cameras, and video surveillance systems are all over now. We don’t think about them much now. In the Washington DC area you stop thinking about them. Then you get a letter in the mail from DC, Virginia or Maryland informing you of the fact that one was on your way and you didn’t see it. So you didn’t slow down, or you pulled through a red light.

Eventually the on ground systems and flying systems will be integrated so that the trigger system is on the ground and the drone flying overhead knows to snap a picture of your license. The systems will not even be seen. Radar Detectors know they are there. But not everyone has one and they aren’t legal in all US States.

Of all the CPS devices deployed around us the on we were see and complain about (because of that letter and the resulting fine) are the traffic cameras. But there are many more devices taking pictures of us. Images that are kept and frankly (as I have argued in the past) aren’t owned by the system that took the picture.

Again, if I commit a crime or I break a law/statute my image during the commission of that act isn’t mine anymore. I get that. But if I don’t commit a crime or are part of a crime being committed that image remains mine. One of the CPS standards or even frankly laws that I would like to see is the legal clarification of when my image can be kept by another system.

This image is of a man who choose public life. He gave up the rights to the image so to speak. It is truly similar to what I write in my various blogs. I own the concept and the words but they are free to use. (as long as you attribute me for using them).

Note: I was once in a customer meeting. A competitor of my company was also there presenting. They presented a quote from my book as a value proposition of their company. I actually presented second and showed the rest of the quote from my book. Needless to say, they lost. Be careful when you don’t attribute quotes properly.

Reality is public figures give up some of their privacy and some ownership of images. Not all, and that is basically what I am calling for. What once was the problem of celebrities (paparazzi) and politicians (the news) is now the problem of everyone. Your ATM takes your picture. There is security footage of Malls and places of worship. Everywhere we go we are monitored, watched and the video captured. Who owns that image?

If there are specific acts that require me to give up my image I need to know what those are ahead of time. If I don’t consent than my image remains mine. Perhaps we can all wear badges that say keep my picture or get rid of my picture. That way the camera has a bar code reader that knows as long as no crime is committed the video of the don’t keep my picture people should be erased. Of course than everyone that wishes to omit a crime would wear a don’t keep my video badge so I guess that wouldn’t work.

Who owns my image?


The future of me…