Can a stranger take pictures of your child in a public place?

Can a stranger take pictures of your child in a public place?

By Valerie Cavazos. CREATED Jul 23, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN-9) -- Seems everywhere you turn someone is snapping a picture -- possibly with you or your child in it?

The question is -- is it legal?

Lots of parents love to take pictures of their kids at parks, parties -- or for that matter  -- anyplace -- doing anything.

But Carol Rakow had a problem when a total stranger began videotaping her child during a party at a "public" restaurant. "He was zooming right in on my son, videotaping my son. That bothers me and makes me very uncomfortable as a parent."

And she's not alone.

"I wouldn't like it. I would ask them why they were doing that," said Josh Williams, father of 2.
Nicole Dupree, mother of 2, said "I would think it would be weird."

Or, as Carole described it, creepy and scary.
She was concerned and came to 90ys to find out if she has any rights as a parent.

Attorney Russell Stowers of Russel B. Stowers, PLLC, said, "That person has a right to take pictures photographs or film in a public place and that includes children --as long as they're not crossing some criminal line --- harrassment -- intimidation -- or any unlawful sexual purposes."

And if a parent objects -- as Carole did?

"I immediately said him do not take any more pictures or video tape my son again," said Carole.

"She can certainly ask, but if they say no I don't think she could run down to court to sue them for that," said Stower.

Williams knows what he would do if he faced a similar situation. "If they continue to videotape, I would leave," with his kids in tow.    

But Stowers said if you're in a public place, like the mall or a restaurant,  it is within the rights of the property owner to ask the person to leave if you are uncomfortable or concerned.

What is considered unlawful?

State Statute 13-3019

A. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly photograph, videotape, film, digitally record or by any other means secretly view, with or without a device, another person without that person's consent under either of the following circumstances:

1. In a restroom, bathroom, locker room, bedroom or other location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and the person is urinating, defecating, dressing, undressing, nude or involved in sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

2. In a manner that directly or indirectly captures or allows the viewing of the person's genitalia, buttock or female breast, whether clothed or unclothed, that is not otherwise visible to the public.

B. It is unlawful to disclose, display, distribute or publish a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording made in violation of subsection A of this section without the consent or knowledge of the person depicted.