Effects of Selfie and Video on Privacy of others in Public Places

A smartphone with a premium quality camera in your hand and a beautiful atmosphere around can tempt anyone to take a selfie or even record an attractive event. But we all fail to consider the fact that it is indirectly posing a threat to the privacy of people around us. Deliberate or not, your selfie pictures contain faces of others as well. But most people still ignore that part and go ahead in uploading them to social media and other online platforms.

Social media craze

Youth give a lot of prominence to the social media platforms and sharing their moments is one of their favorite things they love doing online. The very purpose of taking a selfie is to upload either as a status message, a profile picture or to show your friends your new look. This whole concept of selfie sounds fair enough, in a nutshell, however, when you start analyzing each of these pictures, you will realize it is otherwise. Just think about it; you tell your boss you are sick and request a day off but you go to a pub with your friends. Someone in the pub is taking a selfie with his or her friend and you sitting just behind them appear in that picture. That person shares the selfie immediately on a social media site. Now imagine your boss somehow knows that person who uploaded the selfie or knows a person who knows him or her. This can happen with tagging and sharing of that photo for public view. Only you will know the seriousness of it and the kind of trouble you are in. So your privacy is compromised because of someone else’s selfie or video craze.

Guidelines to take a selfie

Now that you know how someone’s privacy can be affected because of your selfie, it is time to stick to some guidelines to prevent some unforeseen circumstances. Every time you take a selfie, please make sure that there is nobody in the background, or at least, no stranger’s face is visible. But if you are in a crowded place but still want to take a selfie, at least use a tool to blur the faces of others before uploading the image to your social media. If you are taking a selfie with someone you think is attractive or dressed funny, let them know and take their permission before capturing the shot. Check if they are okay if you upload it to your social media account.

Policies of photo and video uploads

Social media sites have clearly lost control of their users and the kind of content they post. There is no feature or mechanism where you can detect and remove a photo where you are accidentally captured in someone else’s selfie. More effective policies must be introduced for selfies and video capturing. Social media platforms must come up with more reasonable guidelines and highlight them to users while they try uploading images or videos. And as users, we must be responsible enough to ensure we are not stealing someone’s privacy for our own benefit.

There is a need for awareness to be created about the ethical approach on taking selfies and videos and posting them on social media.