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Illegal To Take a Photo In a Shopping Center?

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the common-paranoia dept.

Privacy 544

New submitter Kyrall writes "A man was questioned by security guards and then police after taking a photo of his own child in a UK shopping center. The center apparently has a 'no photography' policy 'to protect the privacy of staff and shoppers and to have a legitimate opportunity to challenge suspicious behavior.' He was told by a security guard that taking a photo was illegal. He also said that a police officer claimed, 'he was within in his rights to confiscate the mobile phone on which the photos were taken.'"

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No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675192)

Next question.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | about 3 years ago | (#37675212)

Partial credit. The correct answer is "Hell no." I would also have accepted "Fuck you."

Re:No. (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 3 years ago | (#37675428)

or "Fuck off", or "Don't be silly", or "You're embarasing yourself" the list goes on...

For fucks sake, please somebody put some comon sense to those people

</rant>

Re:No. (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 3 years ago | (#37675790)

Or (thinks) "Little do you know I'm also streaming live video of this little encounter with my BCVC (baseball cap video camera)."

Next Movie: The Mall (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 years ago | (#37675774)

They had movie titles like "The Firm", "The Executioner" and before you know it, they will have "The Mall, The Movie", coming to a theatre near you.

Soon.

Private property. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675202)

If you don't like it, tell all the vendors inside the mall why the infringement on your personal liberties is keeping you from patronizing their businesses.

Re:Private property. (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#37675502)

Sure, I understand what you're saying. And if enough people did it, it *might* make a difference. Except that most people, especially the kind who shop at "the mall" simply don't care.

I mean, how do you think we in the so-called freedom loving first world countries got to where we are, essentially a collection of Fascist police states?

People are selfish children who care mostly about flashy toys, and as long as we get our flashy toys at prices only sweat-shop workers can produce, we're a happy lot!

In other words, most of us simply don't give a rip.

Sad, but true.

Re:Private property. (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 3 years ago | (#37675812)

If you don't like it, tell all the vendors inside the mall why the infringement on your personal liberties is keeping you from patronizing their businesses.

It looks like people have [braehead.co.uk] . Never let anyone say we are powerless. Now the question is, how can we arrange a boycott of the police force???

fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675204)

first post!
heh, remember that?

Re:fp (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#37675632)

fpfail

When photography is outlawed.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675208)

only outlaws will have still cameras.

And the state will have video cameras.
Everywhere.

Long live privacy!

Re:When photography is outlawed.... (4, Informative)

Pooua (265915) | about 3 years ago | (#37675420)

Ironically, Britain is said to have more state-operated cameras than anywhere else on Earth (but it still cannot solve 80% of its crimes). It seems that the more cameras the state uses, the fewer it allows ordinary citizens to use. This may be a manifestation of a psychiatric illness on the part of the some administrators, who have placed cameras into a god-like position that only they are allowed to officiate.

Re:When photography is outlawed.... (5, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 years ago | (#37675858)

Re UK: "London Street Photography Festival" - fun to see how many thought public property was also mall like :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJH9F7Hcluo [youtube.com]

Re:When photography is outlawed.... (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 3 years ago | (#37675454)

Orwell? That you old fella?

Oh you know Britain (4, Funny)

makubesu (1910402) | about 3 years ago | (#37675210)

they're so into this privacy thing, they barely have cameras anywhere.

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (5, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | about 3 years ago | (#37675230)

A spokesperson for Braehead said it wanted to "maintain a safe and enjoyable environment" for shoppers.

There is literally nothing I enjoy more than to have a security guard and the police question me in front of my small child when all I was doing was minding my own business.

Re:Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (4, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 3 years ago | (#37675274)

Minding your own business?

All the art work on commercial packaging in the shopping center are copyrighted designs! You really think you can get away with copyright violations?

You sir, are worse than Hitler!

Re:Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37675340)

Love that sig

Godwined in 13 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675388)

A job well done, sir!

Re:Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37675380)

It seems pretty simple to me. It's their store and if they don't want me taking pictures there I can either just not do it or I can tell them to kiss my ass and leave and never go back. I think it would depend on how they presented it to me. I don't know about the UK but around here there are bunches of stores. I've written a couple off my list and apparently I wasn't the only one. Both stores went tits up after a few years of treating their customers like crap, if you piss off your customers you can't stay in business long unless you're Microsoft.

Re:Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675630)

Regulations simply don't exist. Just take your business elsewhere...

Re:Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675526)

That would be the night I ended up in jail for assaulting a security guard. That would show my kid that freedom is worth fighting for and to stick it to the man!

Re:Won't Somebody Please Think of the Shoppers? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 years ago | (#37675800)

That would be the night I ended up in jail for assaulting a security guard. That would show my kid that freedom is worth fighting for and to stick it to the man!

That would also be the same night your kid saw you being beaten to pulp by a bunch of security guards, and then being tasered by the police..

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675234)

aahahhahahhaaaha

In Soviet Russia (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 3 years ago | (#37675240)

Shopping center take picture of YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia (3, Interesting)

Pooua (265915) | about 3 years ago | (#37675446)

Funny, but the real irony is, how many pictures do you supposed the British government got of this man when he walked into this establishment?

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 3 years ago | (#37675492)

Ohh, that happens in the rest of the world also Michail ;-)

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675678)

I won't tell for the Soviet Russia, but in modern Russia it's pretty legitimate to make photos in shopping centres. (http://www.antirao.ru/faq/nophoto)

Is drawing also illegal? (3, Interesting)

paulsnx2 (453081) | about 3 years ago | (#37675242)

What about writing in your journal?

How about making a phone call? After all, someone could hear what is going on in the background.

How about closed circuit T.V.? The U.K is famous for having cameras everywhere. Isn't that a privacy issue?

How much of our ability to record the events in our lives is illegal under this logic, and subject to confiscation?

What if we just remember what we had for lunch? That could be terrible. Can we tweet about what we see? Is it okay to post a description of who you see at the mall?

Re:Is drawing also illegal? (3, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 3 years ago | (#37675320)

I agree with you, and suggest that you head on over to the (ugh, Facebook) protest campaign [facebook.com] and if you have a FB account, add your vote/click/support etc.

Erosion of the Commons (3, Interesting)

telekon (185072) | about 3 years ago | (#37675246)

It's not endemic to the UK or Europe. I was told the same thing trying to take a picture in a Target parking lot outside of Baltimore, MD. I didn't think much of it at the time, but what if my car had been damaged and I needed to document it for insurance purposes?

Furthermore, (and this might be a UK/US discrepancy) IANAL but I was pretty sure all a strip mall security guard could do was ask you to leave the premises. Confiscating private property seems like a torts lawyers dream, IMHO. All you would have to do is refuse to surrender your camera/phone and taunt the minimum wage rent-a-cop until he slugs you, and never have to work again.

Actually, I think I might spend more time photographing strip malls... working sucks...

Re:Erosion of the Commons (2, Informative)

Sta7ic (819090) | about 3 years ago | (#37675330)

In general, the *USA* laws say that you can legally photograph anything visible from public property that does not require "specialized equipment", and anything on public property. You cannot legally take photographs of places where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including in restrooms, within private dwellings, and underneath clothing. Exceptions exist, but the law is far less restrictive than social norms are about photography.

The UK laws imply that you have the right to apply lubricant, if you brought it, before they violate your rights.

IANAL, but I have fun with a DSLR, and educate myself on what I legally can or can't do with it.

In the parking lot, the most the guard has the rights to do is to ask you to leave, and to escort you off the property. The police can escort you off the property, should a representative ask you to leave. Confiscation of cameras in the US is theft. Charges of wiretapping are bullshit, and routinely overturned when some police officer feels threatened by a camera.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675398)

Nice theory. Reality is TOTALLY different.

Good luck telling that it might be theft to the security guard who relieves you of your camera, trashing the SD card and smashes the camera on the ground. He will just say that the camera was used for assault, and you know what... he will completely get away with it.

In theory a security guard can ask you to leave; in reality, they can smash your face in, or just keep pulling a taser's trigger, yelling, "STOP RESISTING!" Proof? Look how many bouncers get sued, look how few bouncers lose their cases.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37675524)

Unlikely, I used to work security in a highrise with a sizable food court area, it's unlikely that we could have gotten away with that for the simple reason that there was always a camera on us when we were doing those sorts of confrontations.

Any mall large enough for people to be in a crowd is going to be similarly set up. If you're going to places with insufficient camera coverage of the bouncer, you should really think again about going in, those cameras aren't just for the protection of the owner and the employees.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | about 3 years ago | (#37675418)

I don't know that it's theft as such in the UK, but it's certainly not allowed.

There was supposed to be an education campaign within the UK police force to stop them from pulling this crap, as they've been shown repeatedly to be confiscating equipment without any powers to do so. And a mall cop certainly has no right to do that.

Taking a picture is most certainly not illegal either. It may be against company policy and may result in you being removed from and banned from the mall, but this is in no way illegal. (If you come back or refuse to leave, that's trespassing, sure.)

Re:Erosion of the Commons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675560)

This was private property, not public property. I don't agree with it, but its legal for the mall owners to ban photography.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 3 years ago | (#37675726)

What if I agree to photoshop out everything surrounding my kid who I was taking the picture of.

If that photo can still be banned, does it mean they own the air and light in between me and my little one?

Or do they only own the floor, walls, ceilings etc of the mall and images/objects on those?

WHUMMFF! Sound of security guard fist hitting non-compliant jaw.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37675596)

Malls, including all parking areas are PRIVATE PROPERTY, and the owners of that property can set any rules they like.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

rthille (8526) | about 3 years ago | (#37675642)

Not in the US. There are limits as to what you can do on private property which is open to the public. A restaurant is also "private property", but you can't refuse to serve someone because they are Black, or Mormon, or Australian.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 3 years ago | (#37675692)

"the owners of that property can set any rules they like."

Yeah, not so much. They can't set discriminatory rules like "men only" or "no blacks", and neither can they confiscate your property if they don't like you taking pictures. They can ask you to leave, and take you to civil court over the photos. That's pretty much it.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 years ago | (#37675770)

Property, as such, means that the owner has the right to deny access to it. Whether the property is private or public is not the issue. The only thing at issue is that it is a property. Once the owner has indicated the access is conditioned on certain terms, you can reject the terms and leave the property. But the owner can't take arbitrary actions as you leave. So the next time someone tells you "you are on my property therefore I deem it necessary to behead you", you can safely assume that they are not within their rights as proprietors of the property.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 3 years ago | (#37675772)

Of course they can. Nevertheless, property owners have limited ability to do anything. Generally, all they can do is ask the photographer to stop, then ask them to leave. At that point all they can do is call the police who can remove the person for trespassing. If the property owner has posted signs that photography is not allowed, then they can more or less skip right to calling the police. Still, there is nothing more severe here than trespassing.

Simply put, shopping malls and stores do not have the same expectation of privacy that a private residence or office would because, well, stores have things like "WELCOME" and "OPEN" plastered all over their shingles. These are invitations, as are things such as posted business hours on the door. You can't be charged with trespassing if you were invited in. That's why they *must* ask you to leave before it's a legal matter. They have to rescind that open invitation.

(IANAL)

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | about 3 years ago | (#37675814)

First of all, you can't set any rules you like on your own private property; there are limits. Second, malls are private property, but they are also public spaces. As public spaces, rules apply to them that don't apply to your home.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675666)

Malls and shopping centers aren't Public Property.

Re:Erosion of the Commons (2)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37675400)

The article did not state that the security guard could confiscate the camera. Instead, the article stated that the officer claimed to have rights to confiscate the camera.

This is a case of having multiple possible antecedents for a pronoun.

From TFA:

Mr White said that one officer claimed that under the Prevention of Terrorism Act he was within in his rights to confiscate the mobile phone on which the photos were taken.

In this case, the pronoun "he" is referring to it's antecedent "one officer".

Re:Erosion of the Commons (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 3 years ago | (#37675416)

Its like you where on private property or something. Next thing you know they'll be telling me I need a shirt and shoes in order to eat at their restaurant, just because they own it!

It would be so great... (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 3 years ago | (#37675248)

if the people who responded to this actually had some knowledge about the United Kingdom's legal structure.

Probably not going to happen.

In Canada, the Security Guard's case would be dubious. While a shopping mall is private property it's not "private" private property. They could legitimately ask you to leave, but not confiscate your property.

This, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in the United Kingdom.

Re:It would be so great... (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 years ago | (#37675316)

This, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in the United Kingdom.

Well, it does have one thing in common - I doubt a Canadian (or American) security guard has been given any better (read: significant) training in what is or isn't legal behavior, or what they legally can or cannot do when dealing with a "suspect".

In America we had Homeland Security people telling photographers, post 9/11 (obviously), they couldn't take photos of bridges because they might be used for terrorism. The statement didn't have any basis in law... it seems they were just winging it. Fortunately some photographers pushed back, and now people know a bit more about their rights when it comes to photography in public spaces.

If this UK dad pushes back hard enough, maybe UK security guards (or, more likely, their bosses) will end up a touch better informed regarding what sorts of restrictions can and cannot be placed upon behavior in shopping malls.

Re:It would be so great... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37675584)

It depends a great deal on the state that you're in. I know that the SEIU wants more training for security, largely because it promotes workplace safety as well as giving them more leverage when bargaining for a new collective bargaining agreement.

Unfortunately, the conditions still largely suck and the licensing isn't anywhere near enough. And I say that from experience, they cover the basics of the law, but there's so much more that one really needs to know. Around here one doesn't require a license at all if one is working directly for the property owner, and in all cases private security gets the subset of ownership rights that the owner of the property chooses to grant to the officers. In many cases one has more rights as a general member of the public to stop something than security does.

There's also a lot of ignorance over what precisely security is and isn't allowed to do. I remember folks used to assume that I could do something about the smokers, and the truth is that we can't do anything about it. We can ask them to leave the property, or extinguish the cigarette, but in most cases that just involves them walking 3 feet to the sidewalk at which point nobody's really gotten what they want.

Re:It would be so great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675378)

Actually, in Canada, it is legal to use wiretapping, as long as at least one participant is aware of it....like YOU.

Re:It would be so great... (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 3 years ago | (#37675712)

so alice and bob needn't know so long as eve does?

but it would be illegal if not even eve knew she was eavesdropping?

Re:It would be so great... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#37675458)

if the people who responded to this actually had some knowledge about the United Kingdom's legal structure.
...
This, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in the United Kingdom.

So, summary is you responded but had no actual knowledge of the United Kingdom's legal structure?

Not dubious at all (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37675540)

A security guard has the right to detain you and call police to have you arrested. They have the right to ask you to leave.

That is ALL they have the right to do.

They are NOT police officers, though an obscene number of them are power-crazed wannabe-jackboots who THINK they have authority.

The security guard STOLE the camera. Period.

Re:It would be so great... (2)

tyldis (712367) | about 3 years ago | (#37675862)

Same in Norway. Any private property is considered 'public' if you, the owner, treat it as such. Which means malls, parking lots etc.
You cannot demand or expect privacy by visiting such places (you might get filmed or photographed by someone without consent - and you can photograph someone without their consent).

I assume this particular case is a misguided case of protecting the children from pedos and women from upskirt shooters, coupled with a security guard with a God complex.

This is fairly common, it's not really news-worthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675252)

This isn't really all that notable.

I have no idea about UK law but from Australia which tends to base its laws on the UK's, the shopping centre as a private property owner is well within its rights to tell you what you can and can't do there, and that includes taking photos. They can ask you to leave if you don't obey those conditions eg you continue to take photos. But they have no right to steal your property from you, ie take your camera, its film, or delete the photo on your camera. Those are yours. The police also do not have this right, notwithstanding if they suspect you of some unrelated crime of course. Security guards and many police regularly believe, mistakenly, that they can seize cameras or force you to delete photos even though this isn't the case - it's a common issue and you can read about instances of it all over the web if you like. But the bit about not being able to remain on their property after you've broken their rules about taking photos is true. You get to keep the camera and photos though.

Re:This is fairly common, it's not really news-wor (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 3 years ago | (#37675408)

Also, there is a huge difference between "illegal" and "against policy".

As commercial private property, shopping centres can ask you to leave for whatever (reasonable) reason they see fit, and if you dont comply, can be forced by police under trespassing laws. Breaking their policies in the first place however is not illegal.

Photographer Rights (2)

sirnobicus (1595021) | about 3 years ago | (#37675254)

The security guard is within his rights to tell the customer that he is not allowed to take photographs within that environment, if it is private property. However confiscating the device is opening another can of worms, that would be considered theft.

silly "personality rights" (1)

einhverfr (238914) | about 3 years ago | (#37675256)

The issue here has to do with various European treaties and the so-called "personality rights." the mall doesn't want to be sued, so they have this policy. Since it is private property, they can make threats like that.

I don't know about confiscating the phone though.

Have the phone automatically upload photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675262)

If you're worried about mallcops and other imitation rent-a-cops deleting your legal, legitimate photos off your smartphone, check to see if there's a way to have the phone automatically upload pictures you take to a cloud service, or internet-connected NAS if you have one, that way even if they do force you to delete them off the phone, or even confiscate the phone to delete the photos themselves, you'll still have a copy of them.

All of the malls here in Omaha, NE have the same policy. I do not recall off the top of my head if it was a reaction to the Von Maur shooting, or if the policy had been in place from a time before then. I was in Crossroads Mall several months ago. Fully aware that it will be closing soon, I took a few spur-of-the-moment pictures with my smartphone, for historical purposes. A mallcop saw me though, and immediately confronted me. He gave me the whole spiel about how pictures are forbidden and that I can be reported as a terrorist to DHS, all that jazz. He threatened to call the real cops if I didn't immediately delete the pictures...which I did just to shut him up and get him off my back. Little did he know that my smartphone is set up to automatically upload any pictures I take to my internet-connected NAS at home, so deleting them off my phone was just for show, I still have copies of the pictures. Take that mallcops!

Lame response (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675300)

You should have told him to fuck off and make you delete the pics. Then let him try to put a hand on you. Then you sue, own the mall, and fire him as your first act as CEO.

You'd think... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37675292)

In this economy, you'd think they would all but roll out the red carpet for anyone with disposable income.

Re:You'd think... (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#37675376)

I'd guess the stores will be a little pissed about this, since it obviously got press. No doubt it started with some shitbrick Mall Ninja trying to feel important: http://lonelymachines.org/mall-ninjas/ [lonelymachines.org]

In Japan... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675294)

This is common, and you can see such signs in most shopping malls, etc. On the other hand, it is against their *rules*, which isn't even close to the same thing as being *illegal*.

Policy Change and Apology (2)

JMM1986 (2481782) | about 3 years ago | (#37675322)

Braehead shopping centre has changed their policy on the matter and issued an apology to Mr White. There was a facebook campaign to boycott the shopping centre, perhaps it was the power of social networking that put the pressure on them as it has hit 20,000+ likes in a very short time.

Abuses (2)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | about 3 years ago | (#37675326)

If I ever find myself in such situation, (And I do not live in the UK) I would ask the officer for the law that specifically forbids me from performing a specific action. Having said that, on several occasions in Australia, I have been asked by security guards in shopping centres to show the contents of my backpack. Every single occasion I have refused as I will not accept being treated like a thief. I have had arguments with security staff and even with managers of the largest shopping chains. On one occasion the matter went all the way to the court as I had a security guard forcibly inspecting my backpack and I called the police. The security guard was charged with performing an illegal search, and lost his security license.

Gather 1000, Use Video This time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675332)

I smell a flash mob with Video Cameras in 3..2..1..

I can't speak for UK law, but here in the US (3, Informative)

unassimilatible (225662) | about 3 years ago | (#37675336)

The mall cop could ask you to leave, and have you arrested for trespassing if you don't, but he sure as hell couldn't confiscate your camera without a serious lawsuit. If a mall security guard tried tho take my camera, I'd tell him to fuck himself. I am a lawyer (but not your lawyer), so just let them try to place their damned dirty ape hands on me!

Just like I tell them "no" when stores want to see my receipt as I exit the store. Businesses often purport to have rights they don't really have, i.e., "we reserve the right to inspect packages." There is no such right, absent a lawful shoplifting detention.

Don't be a sheep. Know your rights and stand up to unreasonable and intrusive behavior.

Re:I can't speak for UK law, but here in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675406)

Just like I tell them "no" when stores want to see my receipt as I exit the store.

As do I, but keep in mind there are exceptions such as membership only stores like Sam's Club and Costco where you sign a contract stating that you will do just that.

However, every time I've been to Fry's Electronics they want everyone to stop at the door and I just walk right past them.

Re:I can't speak for UK law, but here in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675460)

I used to go to the Costco pharmacy as a non Costco member, and they still insisted on checking my bag, when it was obvious I just had my prescription. Yea, I'm gonna fit a twelve pack of shampoo in my purse... I eventually moved to a new pharmacy.

You should have insisted back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675840)

I used to go to the Costco pharmacy as a non Costco member, and they still insisted on checking my bag, when it was obvious I just had my prescription. Yea, I'm gonna fit a twelve pack of shampoo in my purse... I eventually moved to a new pharmacy.

And said, "fuck you."

Not exactly (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | about 3 years ago | (#37675558)

As do I, but keep in mind there are exceptions such as membership only stores like Sam's Club and Costco where you sign a contract stating that you will do just that.

Yes, but the contract doesn't say, "and if I don't show my receipt, you may detain me by force." And I'm about 99% certain Costco wouldn't be dumb enough to try. Yes, you'd be in breach of the agreement, but how would the person at the door even know who you are without seeing your membership card, which you wouldn't show on the way out either?

And yes, Fry's and the like can kiss my ass when they ask for a receipt. One time at Fry's, I went straight from the register to the bathroom to pee. Some associate came in and said, "sir, there's no merchandise allowed in the restroom. I informed him I didn't have any merchandise, I only had my personal property (since it was all paid for). He said it's their policy. I said I don't work for Fry's, so I don't follow their policies after my business with them is completed. He said, "my boss said..." I said to go get your boss and tell him what I said and he can come in here and try to tell me I can't take a leak with my stuff if he wants to try that. He walked away, sorry he didn't finish college...

Re:Not exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675740)

He walked away, sorry he didn't finish college...

You know what? I moderated two of your comments +1. But this one, almost flippant, remark makes me wish I didn't. Why? Because it portrays you as an arrogant piece of shit. Now, I could unclick the "post anonymously" checkbox and retract my moderations, but I can't be bothered. Additionally, I still think your comments that I moderated insightful or informative or worthwhile, but my opinion towards you has changed. I now see you as an arrogant, self-centered, egotistical fuckwit with probably no more insight than anyone with common sense.

Re:I can't speak for UK law, but here in the US (1)

4ndys (892477) | about 3 years ago | (#37675448)

I think people have missed a vital point with respect to the confiscation of the mobile phone. It was not the mall security guard who said he could confiscate the phone, but rather it was the *police officer* stating that under the Terrorism Act he could confiscate the phone.

But it was a UK police officer (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | about 3 years ago | (#37675486)

We have this thing called a Fourth Amendment here in the US, Jerry Brown notwithstanding [slashdot.org] . Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a barrister!

Re:I can't speak for UK law, but here in the US (1)

Literaphile (927079) | about 3 years ago | (#37675506)

The mall cop could ask you to leave, and have you arrested for trespassing if you don't, but he sure as hell couldn't confiscate your camera without a serious lawsuit. If a mall security guard tried tho take my camera, I'd tell him to fuck himself. I am a lawyer (but not your lawyer), so just let them try to place their damned dirty ape hands on me!

Indeed. I am a lawyer too (but not your lawyer!), though in Canada. And up here, while this sort of thing varies from province to province, shopping malls are generally regarded as public spaces, which means that you can't be removed without a good reason. So if you're just standing around, doing something within the confines of the law (e.g. taking a picture), and a mall cop wants to throw you out, you can (attempt to) nail the mall owner for a Charter violation.

Get a life (0, Troll)

lucm (889690) | about 3 years ago | (#37675364)

The real question here is: why do people need so badly to take pictures and upload them to Facebook all the time? What is the amount of said pictures that are actually looked at by anyone? It's like those thousands of smartphones raised in the air during concerts so people can upload shitty clips to Youtube. Everyone is broadcasting, no one is watching.

People don't have a life anymore. They have pictures and youtube clips.

Re:Get a life (3, Funny)

nrozema (317031) | about 3 years ago | (#37675430)

The real question here is: why do people need so badly to take pictures and upload them to Facebook all the time?

Yes, I for one am completely perplexed by this new found fascination with photographing your own kids. It's so strange.

Re:Get a life (1)

lucm (889690) | about 3 years ago | (#37675700)

If you read the article, by the time the police was involved the picture was already on Facebook. This goes beyond taking pictures of your own kid.

Re:Get a life (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | about 3 years ago | (#37675714)

Other peoples kids however, hubba hubba.

I kid ;)

Re:Get a life (4, Insightful)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 3 years ago | (#37675468)

No, that is NOT the real question. The real question is why the fuck we are building a society for ourselves that is undoing all the hard-won freedoms we've fought for and earned in the last few hundred years. If one of the ways people exercise those freedoms is to tweet and blog all day long, theta's up to them. You're also free to ignore them.

Cherish it, it clearly isn't going to last.

Re:Get a life (1)

MunkieLife (898054) | about 3 years ago | (#37675544)

Why do I never have mod points anymore? Mod up, +1.

Re:Get a life (0)

lucm (889690) | about 3 years ago | (#37675764)

> why the fuck we are building a society for ourselves that is undoing all the hard-won freedoms we've fought for and earned in the last few hundred years

What freedom exactly is being undone by not allowing pictures to be taken on private property (like a mall)? If people can "tweet and blog" all day, how come the owners of the mall are not allowed to establish rules for their own private building? I think your definition of freedom is selective.

> Cherish it, it clearly isn't going to last.

Yeah, clearly the System is going down the drain, the Evil Shopping Malls Owners are ought to steal our freedom.

Re:Get a life (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37675848)

how come the owners of the mall are not allowed to establish rules for their own private building?

They are perfectly free to do that as soon as it is closed to the public. They can put up the signs indicating that there is no public shopping there and lock the doors, then whatever they say (within the limits of the law) will go. Naturally, the tenants might choose to leave at that point, but that's just the natural consequences of their actions.

Re:Get a life (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37675568)

You might be surprised to learn that one of the first applications of practical personal photography has been proud parents taking informal photos of their kids. It seems to be quite popular. That was a few years before the internet, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

So now, apparently, policy becomes law... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | about 3 years ago | (#37675490)

I can't wait for this to take hold in the USA... stores, businesses, theme parks... they could all just write up a policy and the police could enforce it for them.

What irony... police officers enforcing a "no cameras" policy in a public place in the UK.

Just do it (2)

cyberfringe (641163) | about 3 years ago | (#37675498)

If this happened to me I would make a big scene, refuse to turn over the camera and also charge anyone who tried to take away my camera with assault and theft. If the mall guards detained me I would arrest them for false imprisonment. People cannot go like sheep. You must fight back with barred teeth.

Re:Just do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675682)

No you wouldn't. You'd start to talk back, then the cop would raise the stakes. If you re-raise, you get tazed, maced, arrested or shot. If you comply & give up the cell phone, you'll pussy out & make a blogger post because you've never talked to a lawyer in your life.

Prove me wrong.

Re:Just do it (1)

QuasiEvil (74356) | about 3 years ago | (#37675802)

Raising a big scene is exactly the wrong thing to do. Gets everybody worked into a pissing match. The correct answer is just to know your rights, assert them, and calmly call in bigger guns if really necessary.

And yes, I speak as someone who has raised the stakes with a rent-a-goon when I was being harassed on a public sidewalk. I called the real cops. They showed up, asked a few questions, and told the rent-a-goon to take a hike and learn that his authority ended at the edge of their property several hundred feet away.

I take any erosion of my photography rights very seriously, given the irrational paranoia society we've lived in here in the US for the last decade. I mean for fuck's sake, in the case above I was standing on a public sidewalk in broad daylight with a giant f'ing SLR (1Ds III and a 28-300L, which isn't a small combo for those who know their Canon gear). It's not like I'm trying to hide or be stealthy about anything, yet the rent-a-thug seemed to think I was some sort of imminent security threat.

Re:Just do it (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 years ago | (#37675860)

Raising a big scene is exactly the wrong thing to do. Gets everybody worked into a pissing match. The correct answer is just to know your rights, assert them, and calmly call in bigger guns if really necessary.

The mall already got their big guns (security guards) harassing you, and they in turn got their even bigger guns (the po-lice) and they are telling you that they gonna take your cell / camera away.

And you are telling us you can stay calm?

Fuck you, man ! You make no sense at all !!

Paranoia (1)

FyberOptic (813904) | about 3 years ago | (#37675510)

It's kind of ironic how out of control this "no photos" thing is nowadays, because cameras can be so small, either part of your phone or just slip right in your pocket, that people should be able to capture more spontaneous moments, to post on all of the social media or online photo sites that are available today. Instead, people are going to have to worry about getting their freaking phones confiscated.

And then, to make matters worse, police are apparently also allowed to nose around in your phone without a warrant. So even though your Facebook and Twitter and all that are normally password-protected accounts for your data and would require an official request to get access, police can just click the icon on your phone and look as they please.

I hate where all of this is leading.

Re:Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675548)

I never used to be worried about this, have installed passwords on my phone for this and other reasons. The public need to be educated on the dangers.

Re:Paranoia (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37675784)

These policies tend to go on until security has to tell somebody important that they need management's approval to take photos. That was how that policy ended at the building I used to work at. Personally, I thought the policy was somewhat silly as it wasn't focused on photos of areas that were at all sensitive and ultimately there were drawings of the entire building online every time there was a build out for a new maintenance contract.

At the end of the day, you could get a photo and forward it to the FBI, but that's about it, few if any of the photos would ever be of any actual utility as the folks that were really up to no good were most likely never observed.

TFA: Never states Security Guard could take Camera (2)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37675536)

There are already many posts on here questioning whether or not the security guard could legally confiscate the camera. The posts title is be a bit misleading. It is a case of having too many antecedents to choose from for the pronoun "he". The article does _not_ state that the security guard was within his rights to confiscate the camera. It states that the _officer_ was withing his rights to confiscate the camera.

It has been reversed. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675620)

Seems the mall came to their senses.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15251848

The damage is done (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 years ago | (#37675820)

No amount of apology will make me visiting that piece of shitty mall

My experience (0)

mercurywoodrose (662183) | about 3 years ago | (#37675634)

Taking photos to post on Wikimedia Commons, i was stopped by a security guard while photographing the entrance to an indoor mall from the private parking lot outside it. the moment he pulled up, i figured it out: private property, photographing elements of that property that can qualify as elements of commerce. I apologized and took no more photos. the guard did not confiscate my camera, or even ask me to delete any photos i took (very civilized of him). However, its a gray area. Suspicious behavior could reasonably be seen as taking multiple photos of private property from that property. taking a photo of your child, even on a playset there, is so obviously not suspicious or inappropriate, its worth lawyering up over. its all about social mores and reasonable right to privacy, along with the semi-public semi-private status of malls and stores. stores cannot absolutely bar anyone they want without some indication of a reason that doesnt violate civil rights laws. I can bar anyone (aside from police with warrants or emergency personnel) i want from entering my home for any reason, without stating the reason. companies are given certain privileges to operate on behalf of the public, and are also given certain protections in the deal. its a give and take. lots of qualifiers. thats why he have judges, and not computers, figuring out the law. and why police should remember their role as defenders of social values. why not simply educate the citizen of the rules regarding photography, and suggest that if he wants to photograph his child in front of a store display, talk with the store manager? they may like the idea. winners all around.

Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675710)

Rent-a-cops have no right to take someones private property. When you go to someones house, they have no right to take your wallet because its on private property. The rent-a-cop has *no* right to 'sieze' anything. Both the rent-a-cop *and* the mall *must* be charged with theft.

In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37675808)

Here in the Netherlands the police are starting a campaign 'pak de overvaller, pak je mobiel' which translates 'get the robber, get your mobile' to urge people to grab there mobile phone to take a photo of any robber/robbing they see...

Waitrose Fruit Photo (3, Informative)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 years ago | (#37675818)

Extract from one of my recent blog entries

At the grapefruits, I chance upon some Chinese tourists who are taking pictures of the fruit and conversing. I try some very rusty mandarin, they laugh delightedly and they don't slap me [easily possible because tone-error changes question-mark into 'horse', for example].

Immediately arrives lady security guard, telling them that they are not allowed to take any pictures of fruit. I remonstrate and ask for her name. She replies [she has an east european accent and perhaps yearns for the good old days, although she is a youngish woman] that she is 'security' and cannot give me a name, obviously not, I think. So I ask for the name of her boss who is 'on holiday'. I ask where he works and she says that he is 'on holiday', not understanding that I want to know whether he is head-office or wharf. Finally I go away with a name, though she might have lied for 'security purposes'.

I used to admire and give a lot of custom to Waitrose, because of the partnership structure etc. but now, after this, it's demonstrating that it's just another sleazebag corporation with its best years behind it. I have a cooperative card now, perhaps we'll go there for grapefruit photography and purchase from henceforth, forward.

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