Is it legal to take someone's photo in India without permission?


The legality of taking someone's photo in India depends on the context.

In public places, it is generally legal to take someone's photo without their permission, as long as you are not doing so in a way that invades their privacy. This means that you cannot take photos of someone in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom or bedroom. You also cannot take photos of someone in a way that is offensive or harassing.

In private places, you need the consent of the person or people you are photographing. This includes their home, office, or any other place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Even if you take someone's photo in a public place, you may still need their consent if you intend to use the photo in a commercial or defamatory way. For example, you would need the consent of a celebrity to use their photo in an advertisement without their permission.

Section 66E of the Information Technology Act makes it illegal to capture, publish, or transmit the image of a person's private areas without their consent. This includes images of the person's genitalia, buttocks, and breasts. The penalty for violating this section is imprisonment for up to three years and a fine of ₹2 lakh.

In addition to the Information Technology Act, there are also several other laws that protect the privacy of individuals in India. These include the following:

  • The Personal Data Protection Bill (2018): This bill is currently under consideration by the Indian Parliament.It would create a comprehensive framework for protecting personal data, including data collected through photography.
  • The Right to Privacy (2018): The Supreme Court of India recognized the right to privacy as a fundamental right in 2018. This decision has implications for the legality of taking and using photos of individuals without their consent.

It is important to be aware of the laws and regulations regarding photography in India. If you are unsure whether you can take someone's photo without their permission, it is always best to err on the side of caution and ask for their consent first.

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