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Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 5 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Do They Have The Right To Use My Photo On Website?

Q.

I have a very small issue in the scheme of things, but your advice would be welcome.

Do I have the right to refuse the use of my personel picture on the companies Web Site?

(Mr David Richards, 5 September 2008)

A.

This issue touches on a couple of different areas. The first, and most important, is data protection, and the other is your employee contract.

The Data Protection Act 1998 would seem to apply in this instance. They have a policy on the use of images. Under that, the company would need to obtain your consent before they use your photo, and tell you where it will be used and for what purpose.

Having your picture taken for staff ID is one thing, but having them put it online is another. A staff ID picture that gives you access to buildings and offices can only be used for that purpose without your specific consent, and you should be given the choice, as well as being made aware of any security risks. It doesn’t matter whether the picture is used on the Internet or simply on a company Intranet, you still have to give your specific permission. If you don’t want your picture used, the company should respect your choice.

The whole issue of privacy and data protection in images was highlighted recently when Google announced it was adding Street View photos to its Google Maps. This involves taking pictures on streets, which include cars and people. There has been a debate regarding the use of these pictures without consent, and Google will blur the faces and number plates in order that none of them can be recognised in order to comply with the Data Protection Act.

However, and it can be a big however, there’s also the issue of employee contracts to consider.

Employee contracts – and all employees should have one, even if it’s just very basic – cover the terms of employment. It might be a contract, it might be a handbook, it can even be a verbal agreement. You’ll need to read that carefully to see if you’ve given the company the right to use your photo on their web site. If it’s in there, then, by signing the contract, you’ve given them the right to use the picture. If it’s not in the employee contract, then they’ll need your permission to comply with the Data Protection Act.

This might seem a small matter, but it isn’t. Privacy and data protection, especially breaches of it, have been in the news a lot lately, and need to be taken very seriously indeed.

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I have just had my bathroom cleaned by a cleaning company and was very happy with the job. However when I went online there was a before and after pictures of my shower cubicle. I didn't give permission for this and I am furious. Can they do this?
Anne - 5-Aug-19 @ 6:25 PM
An image of my children has been used in a paid advertising campaign without my permission and used on their website. On the day the photo was taken I went up to the photographer and asked for her to not take photographs of my sons she agreed and walked off. However they have been used by the company. I have now managed to get the photo removed from their website, twitter. The image however is still on the web. Can I sue for damages for the distress this has caused my sons and I.
niknak - 18-Jul-19 @ 11:54 AM
Our company website shows a group photograph that was taken a year ago, six of us are in the picture. One person in the photo has since left of her own accord. (She made a big show of resigning, expecting us to beg her to stay, but we very gladly accepted her resignation!)Now she's demanding we remove the photograph. Before she left we removed all references to her by name, so nothing on the site links the image to her.The image was created with her consent specifically to use on the site, as she knew at the time. until she resigned this has not been an issue. I intend organizing a replacement asap but at a time convenient to me, not one dictated out of spite by her. Can she force us to remove it before we might otherwise wish to do so? We're UK based so GDPR applies.
TBird - 2-Jul-19 @ 12:55 PM
A picture of me was taken at a party at new years inside of a venue. This picture has been used to promote the venue on their website, social media and the local community magazine. I was not asked if they could use the image in any capacity. Am I entitled to anything?
G - 14-Jun-19 @ 4:27 PM
Morning, I have recently had a builder in to complete a bathroom instalment, it has been 80% completed and he has received full payment for it! I cannot get hold of him to finish the job... I know I shouldn’t have made full payment until the job was completed but this was our first project and let’s say lesson learnt. The main reason for the post though. I have noticed on his 'Company' Facebook page pictures of my bathroom are now being used as marketing, is this allowed without my consent? He has not mentioned any form of address or me! Thank You
Whitford - 15-May-19 @ 8:23 AM
Our org is asking for a personal photo which they wish to use to have avatar created from Do we have to comply with this ? I use my ordinary face picture for most things so people can see what I look like if they are trying to find me for any reason to speak with But I'm not sure I wish to be turned into a cartoon image of myself Can I refuse to allow my image to be used in this way ? Thank you _scott
Scott - 17-Apr-19 @ 11:31 AM
A few years ago i reluctantly agreed to be interviewed in my home about the street in which i live. I was adamant no filming/ no photos. Yet they have used two photos of me in a recent online article and apparently the photo has been syndicated ? what are my rights? I am very distressed as i hate having my photo taken and would never agree to it being used. I always avoid having my photo taken.
jj - 16-Apr-19 @ 1:31 PM
What is the legal standing regarding an ex employer using images containing me as part of their marketing / social media? Photos taken whilst employed there, but now I no longer work for them it seems strange for those images bearing my likeness to be promoting a company that I personally would not promote. Could a takedown notice or similar be issued? I don't recall signing a release at the time, though I will be endeavouring to check.
MissMystery - 12-Apr-19 @ 5:31 PM
I'm part of a volunteer group in my local area and my son, who started the group, puts photographs on his litter picking social media site to show the amount collected. Yesterday a flyer was pushed through the letter box from a councilor asking for support in the forth coming council elections with a photograph of me on the front page.l consider that outrageous,no one asked permission can they do that ? Thank you
anjohn - 11-Apr-19 @ 1:54 PM
HiWe have just seen a company using a photo of our home which is a widebeam barge on an advertising board for there new homes. I would like to know if they can do this and if not what I can do about it. I have a photo of the advertising board which feature our home mainly with a few others on too. Thank you
apbf1 - 19-Mar-19 @ 1:30 PM
As a street photographer can I use images of the people I photographed on my website or do they need to know about it?
Raquel - 5-Mar-19 @ 10:17 AM
A company I have never worked for are using an image of me on their company website without permission. Is this allowed and what can I do about it.
Shell - 2-Mar-19 @ 7:37 PM
I agreed for my company to use my photo on their web page but last night I went on and all my past working background of where I worked was on there as well also my certificate level which I gained in a past job is this allowed?.
Weeme95 - 12-Jan-19 @ 10:36 AM
I have recently seen an advertisement for a trade organisation in a UK national magazine.One of many photographs features a person who looks like me.The trade organisation have refused to give me a larger copy of the image.They initially assured me that it could not be me because the image came from a trusted third party. I formally asked for a copy of the image and the information about the photographer and the date that the image was made.In their response they told me that they were looking at the wrong image - despite me informing them of its location in the advertisement.They have now told me that they know the name of the person,he is a member of their trade association and they have the name of the photographer.Do I have any rights that can force them to reveal the information that I wish to see? Is there anything that I can do about getting them to reveal more information?A larger photograph might reveal more details that would help me in my identification.
Nico - 11-Dec-18 @ 11:05 PM
My employer has made a sign at the entrance of the building that shows a photoof myself and says my first name i never consented to this and when i raised the issue with upper management they informed me they do not need my consent surely this is against the law. What action should i take to request my image be taken down and destroyed?
Trig - 6-Nov-18 @ 11:42 PM
I worked for an Interior Design company 9 years ago now they started up a development company from it, they used my photo then even though I didn’t work for them and 9 years on if I google my name that picture and job comes up!! I never allowed it and I’ve asked them to take this down but I get no response and it is still there. What can I do? It’s really unfair - how can they get away with this? Any help would be great. Thank you..:
El - 4-Oct-18 @ 12:20 AM
@Tammie - absolutely you can. The company have to take down your image if you request it.
AiD - 18-Sep-18 @ 2:37 PM
Hi there I’ve recently left my employment We had photo taken in feb this year for the web page I did sign to they could use my image Now that I’ve been gone for 3 months I’ve noticed that they have my photo on there web site promoting the business but I was not contacted & asked if they could use them can I demand that they remove my image as I don’t work for the company any more along with 3 othergirls that are also in the image
Tammie - 18-Sep-18 @ 4:39 AM
Hi, I’m need of some advice. Is it legal for a company I worked for but no longer do to still continue to have my name upon their website? They appear to be marketing themselves as having me there to carry out work however I am definitely not working there any longer? Does this fall under false misrepresentation laws? Your advice much appreciated many thanks.
Scoops - 11-Sep-18 @ 10:48 AM
@Halcyon - you would have to request permission for the building/company owners first.
AidB - 4-Sep-18 @ 11:07 AM
Can a double glazing company use photo’s of their installations at my mothers house in digital marketing being displayed in an estate agents, they’ve not asked her consent at all, thank you,
Malibu - 3-Sep-18 @ 5:04 PM
Hi, We service a number of clients in a city and would like to use some images only of the buildings from the clients own websites within our own website. Could you please confirm the procedure. Thank you.
Halcyon - 30-Aug-18 @ 4:39 PM
What if you have left the company and have asked for the pictures to be removed and they haven't months on?
Sarah - 19-Aug-18 @ 11:18 AM
i have a business website and my landlord has taken a photo from my website to use in their nationally circulated magazine without asking for my permission is this illegal
kirkfell - 29-Jul-18 @ 10:51 AM
Hanban - Your Question:
Hi I need your advice please. Previously worked for a company and employment there was terminated. Months later they have now posted a photo on social media without asking any permission. Is this legal?

Our Response:
If you do not approve, you can request the company removes it.
YourPrivacy - 3-Jul-18 @ 2:07 PM
@Stacy - if you ask them to take it down they are obliged to.
MN - 3-Jul-18 @ 1:39 PM
Hi I need your advice please. Previously worked for a company and employment there was terminated. Months later they have now posted a photo on social media without asking any permission. Is this legal?
Hanban - 3-Jul-18 @ 12:18 PM
Hi, I live in a low cost housing rental and the company that owns it has used my picture with my son and my sister on their website , so the first thing you would see is our picture on this website. Firstly I was ambushed into them taking these pics of us because it was early on a Saturday morning and we we're on our way out so to get them off our necks we let them take a few pics and the guy was like "oh these pics would not be used in South Africa its for abroad promotion" and then we were done and a few month s go by and people keep asking me what my picture is doing on this website and I feel like my privacy had been invaded because I didn't ask for this and I certainly did not get paid for it either. What can I do about this?
Stacy - 2-Jul-18 @ 10:05 PM
@Bedders - just ask them to take it down. Only if they refuse can you complain to the ICO.
Tom - 11-May-18 @ 2:57 PM
Hi Can a builder publish pictures of the inside of my house without permission. Many thanks for any feedback you can offer.
Bedders - 7-May-18 @ 9:52 PM
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