Updates to the Personal Data Protection Commission’s Advisory Guidelines on Photography, Video and Audio Recordings – Drones
On 20 December 2016, the Personal Data Protection Commission (“PDPC”) released updated advisory guidelines (the “Guidelines”) in relation to Photography, Video and Audio Recordings, including where such photographs and recordings are made with the use of drones.
The updates do not stray from the PDPC’s established positions relating to the interpretation of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (“PDPA”). Briefly, these positions are:
Updates relating to drones
The salient points of the updates relating to drones are as follows:
Where a drone is flown in a public space such as an open field, compliance with the PDPA is a non-issue because any personal data captured would be publicly available information and therefore exempt from consent requirements.
Where a drone is flown in a private space, compliance with the PDPA is trickier.
If all persons in the private space are guests at the event and have given their consent to the event organizers for photographs and videos to be taken, photographers and videographers working for the event organizers may document the event without worry.
However if consent has not been obtained, or if there are persons in the private space who are not guests of the event and therefore have not had an opportunity to provide consent (e.g. a wedding reception in which a portion of a venue is reserved for guests and the remaining space is open to other patrons), it may be difficult for a drone operator to prevent the unintentional collection of personal data from such persons.
Drone operators will therefore need to employ other ways of managing this personal data, such as promptly deleting footage or photographs containing personal data of non-guests, or designating certain areas as spaces where photography/videography will be conducted.
Associate Director, Bernard & Rada Law Corporation
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