Oh, oh, oh, my mailbox was filled these last few weeks. If only these were e-mails regarding writing- or photography assignments. No, they weren’t. It was a spammy push of various companies and organisations who wanted me to know, that they would respect the new privacy law. Because of my trailer is entitled to these new laws to a certain privacy, I edited the photos.
A new trailer has nothing to do with the European legislation about privacy (full: General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR). Isn’t it strange that this law is active as of May 25th? Why not June 1st? This has to do with the date it was passed (24-05-2016). After two years of waiting, it’s now an active law. We should feel very happy about this, we are finally protected. Great, right? Or is it?
There are many false facts about this GDPR. You aren’t allowed to take photos in public anymore. You should ask everyone for permission. Well, there is a lot to say and there are those who do it way better than I do.
This blog is about my trailer. I bought the trailer this morning. I’ve chosen to make the license plate unrecognizable. That has nothing to do with the new law, it should protect me against those who want to use the license plate number for their own good. There are many people who aren’t really concerned with these details. On social media, they share tickets, including plane tickets, and they show all the numbers needed for anyone to do wrong. There isn’t a law to protect against these acts of absent-mindedness (dumb others would say), right?
The new law is one that affects me as a writing photographer and owner of an international poetry platform. I am no Facebook or Google, who reads and uses data excessively. I don’t organise marketing campaigns. Of course, this isn’t the wisest idea when it comes to commercialising your business. At least, I can say in all honesty that I don’t do these things.
It’s May 25th and the main social media platforms are still here, pretty much doing as they did before. I am a small entrepreneur and don’t have the financial means to do what Facebook and Google do. I don’t want to though. I still want to know who visited my website and see how well my blogs are read.
Some entrepreneurs may laugh about all of this. I don’t care. Really I don’t. I can say that I will never misuse any data of others. Can these laughing entrepreneurs do the same?
As a photographer, I have an opinion regarding this new law. That explains the title of this blog. We may overstep ourselves when it comes to privacy. If you are responsible for any photo or video, there is a chance that at any given moment someone may ask of you to change or take the photo or video down. When it comes to photography, you can do a lot using Photoshop or Gimp. When you’ve made a video production, that is different; it’s more difficult.
The Facebooks and Googles of this planet know how to deal with issues such as these. Not everyone knows the same as they do. Still, it’s something they are supposed to know. There are a lot of consultancy companies who made good money (congratulations, you stepped in just in time) when it comes to the advice they gave and give regarding the GDPR. There isn’t really an open platform sponsored by the European Union that supplies free advise.
There is a chance that these social media companies will find a way out, because of their good lawyers. Small entrepreneurs don’t have these fancy lawyers to do this. I am one of those small entrepreneurs, who are lucky enough to plan his company around his two children, and I don’t have the money to hire lawyers when needed. There are more like me. Some are being scared with false facts. I know what’s true and what’s not. Not everyone is aware of this. Besides all of that: there is a chance you don’t want to know about these issues since you just want to focus on your business.
It’s a pity to see that copyrights aren’t dealt with in the same tempo as these privacy issues. For a photographer, it’s extremely difficult to take down any infringements of copyrights. It took me several weeks to convince Facebook that they should take down a photograph taken by me. It was used without my permission by a local bar. The entertainment industry has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to copyright infringement (illegal downloads). The photography industry not. People still believe that it’s “free” when they found it on Google.
Apart from that. I am still waiting for Instagram to respond to my various messages about a profile that uses my name and company name. It even uses an image shot by me. Maybe it’s just their way of interpreting the “freedom of speech” or something like that…
Altogether, this GDPR made me send out my statement. I allowed my trailer to benefit from some privacy. Still, I wanted to show this trailer to the rest of the world. We are getting ready for the summer holiday. Even when it still takes a while, one must prepare. Last year we started searching for an affordable trailer when it was too late. The roof box was free of charge by the way. How cool is that?!