So can anyone tell me and my friend if taking photos is in fact illegal?

Picture this – rogue parkers in the frame

Date    January 29, 2013 – 10:24AM

Jimmy Thomson

Can cars be camera shy? A question of parking paparazzi comes this week comes from a Flat Chat regular who wonders if he’s been breaking the law in his long-running campaign to drive off rogue parkers.

A friend of StrataGuru Struggler, fighting a lone battle against cars left illegally in visitors spots and along his driveway, was caught taking pictures of the offending vehicles after Fair Trading told him photographic evidence would help in a case at the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

“The owner of the car said that it was illegal to take photos,” says Struggler. “I have also taken photos of rogue parkers here in my complex. No people, just the cars and the rego plates … it has worked as they have made themselves scarce and are parking in their own spaces or on the street.

“So can anyone tell me and my friend if taking photos is in fact illegal?”

Taking pictures of vehicles parked on common property is not against the law. If taking pictures of people, never mind cars, in public places was illegal, Shane Warne and Liz Hurley would have no one to swear at.

It is illegal to record speech without the participants knowledge and permission – which is why you get that little warning that you are being recorded “for training purposes” every time you call your bank.

Recording people on CCTV (vision only) is, oddly, a lot less controlled and the accepted wisdom is that if you put up signs telling people there are cameras, you are OK. However, you could be in trouble if the video cameras point at or into private property.

As far as pictures go, you could put up a sign saying “Cars parked illegally will be photographed for evidence of breaches of by-laws”, which will cover any legal loopholes and might even work as a deterrent.

NB: if you’re using a digital camera, make sure the pictures are accurately date-stamped. And, hey, if you get caught in the act, just say you’re taking pictures for training purposes.

You can see the whole picture and read the whole story here.

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