In Queensland, there is no law which affords rights to an individual’s personal privacy. Accordingly, unless the circumstances fall within one of the few exceptions listed below, it is perfectly legal for a stranger to take a photo of your child without your permission.
It is illegal to take photos or film on private property without the permission of the property owner. Accordingly, if you are the owner of private property, you can impose restrictions on other people who enter your property regarding the use of photography and can ban them from taking photos of your children.
Restrictions on photography also extend to other areas of private property including sporting venues. These places can make rules that ban people from photographing or recording any part of the space or the people within it.
However, this exception of private property does not apply if you and your children are on your private property but the person taking the photos or filming are on a neighbouring property or on the street. The person taking the photos must be on your private property for it to be illegal. If they are not on your property, they are considered to be taking the photos in a public space and there are no laws which prevent this.
There are a number of laws in the Queensland Criminal Code 1899 which prevent the photographing and recording of children, even with their or their parents’ permission. Photographs and recordings which would be illegal under these laws include:-
- Explicit and suggestive photographs of children;
- Sexual and naked photographs of children; and
- Photographs of children taken in a place where they would reasonably be afforded privacy such as a public changing room or toilet.
Whilst we do not have personal privacy rights in Queensland, there are some laws which aim to protect our personal Information. The Privacy Act 1988 provides that photos which allow the identity of a person to be determined should not be published without first obtaining the consent of that person, or of that child’s parent or guardian. Photos of a child which may allow them to be identified include:-
- showing the child in their school uniform;
- showing their name; or
- showing them in front of their house or school.
However, this exception is generally limited to businesses and organisations and will not extend to persons who have taken and published the photo in their personal capacity.
Unfortunately, unless the situation falls within one of these exceptions, it is perfectly legal for a stranger to take a photo of your child without obtaining your permission.