Singapore Law on Video Recording – Taking photos is extremely popular these days. Provided that photos and video recordings may contain personal data, it is important to develop legislation in this regard.
Singapore has a law that regulates the act of taking photos and filming. Here you can find the most important provisions of this law.
Legislation distinguishes between two types of photography and video recording. Both have to do with use and disclosure of personal data. The law does not impose fines or any other punishment for collecting personal data when taking photos for domestic purpose.
This means that if you take a family photo or take a selfie with your friend, you don’t violate Data Protection Provisions. That is, the person is aware that you take photos and most probably accepts participating in the process.
Still, if your video records the window of your neighbors at night you are liable to criminal punishment. You can be accused of harassment.
In this case, the new element that steps in is consent. The rule is very simple: if people you video record don’t give consent to it, they can sue you. The law interprets it as a violation of personal privacy.
This is why you need to have the consent of people to be able to video record them. But what to do when taking a photo in crowded places? Most probably lots of people will end up in the background of the photo. Do you also have to require consent?
Well, first of all, people in the background of the photo are not identifiable in most of the cases. However, if the people insist, you can blur them after all.
If you work as a photographer for a business, there in the game steps in a new regulation. If you take photo of someone who didn’t give consent, the organisation you work for is responsible.
It means that the person will sue the organization, not you, for violating personal privacy. The organization is also the one that must require consent for video recording. However, the organization is not liable in case of photos you take for personal purposes.
If you are at a corporate party and take a selfie with a friend, the law doesn’t consider it a personal data violation. And the organization hiring you doesn’t have to require consent to publish the photo on social media.
Let’s suppose that you participated in a fashion show a week ago. People gave consent, you took photos from the event, and published them in the newspaper or on social media. After a few days, those people say that they withdraw their consent.
They say that they don’t want to see their pictures anymore on that social media website. This is a completely legal action. And the organization you work for must remove the photos. Another solution would be to blur the face of people that withdrew their consent.
If a television camera video records an area, the organization owning the camera has to act under the law. It must notify people around that the area is under video recording. You can see it at shops’ entrances that have a plate informing me that the shop is under video surveillance.
Since the shop does it for security purposes, the law does not interpret it as a violation of personal privacy. Moreover, the shop informs people that the camera looks after them. This prevents people from claiming that someone stalks them.
Singapore Law on Video Recording says that any person can request the footage. If speaking of museum surveillance, a visitor may request the footage for the day he/she visited the museum. The same refers to public places that video record people for security reasons.
According to the law, the organization must provide the footage to the requester. Still, there is an interesting aspect. The organization has the full right to charge a fee for offering the footage. The requester may need to pay for the efforts of finding and preparing the footage.
Especially, businesses charge fees when the footage was taken a long time ago.