Can someone take photographs of my children for no particular reason without my consent?

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Can someone take photographs of my children for no particular reason without my consent?

I live in a townhouse community. It is very common for parents to photograph their own children with others in the picture, we all expect this to happen. However, on this particular day, one of the neighbors stopped her vehicle in front of one of the parks in the community there are 2 parks and was taking photos of the children there mine included, none of her children were in the park at the time. She was concentrating on a few of the children to the

point that they verbally expressed being uncomfortable and were trying to hide from her. I know when a few other parents found out, they were rather upset that a complete stranger, to them, was taking pictures of their children, and even though I know her, I am in the same boat. No one knows why she was taking the photos or what their intended use is. So I’m just wondering if this is okay or if there is some way we can stop her from photographing the neighborhood children that she has no reason or need to be photographing?

Asked on October 20, 2016 under Personal Injury, New Hampshire

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It's a little creepy (okay... really creepy), that the neighbor is taking pictures of other people's children... but creepy does not equal illegal.  If your children are in a public or common area, then your children could potentially be photographed or visually recorded at anytime. 
However, if she decides to take and use the pictures for financial gain (like to post in an advertisement), then your neighbor should obtain your consent first.  If she fails to do so, then she could be liable for damages, including any profits from the use of your child's images. 
My advice right now is to stay calm and ask questions first.  It is creepy, but there may be a very good reason for her actions that is completely innocent.  She may have just gotten a new camera is is now annoying the whole neighborhood with her new 'toy."  She could have a sick child that just wanted to see pictures of their friends.  I know the temptation is to be concerned about sexual predators.  This is a valid concern.  However, if this person has been an otherwise good neighbor, then just talking may save everyone a great deal of hurt feelings and confusion. 


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