March 9th, 2010
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

We received the following email this morning:

As the owner of this rare car, I would request that this image be deleted from this site on the grounds of privacy.

If my car was parked outside my house and it was captured on Google’s street maps facility, at least they respect an individual’s privacy by blurring out vehicle licence plates. This aspect also extents to images in the media such as newspapers and TV broadcasts.

Additionally, I was not approached or contacted regarding the inclusion of my car for a third parties financial gain.

I agreed to appear at this show because the organiser of this event is a personal friend.

Please respect my request – thank you.

This is a perfectly polite and reasoned request. But what is at stake here? We’re under no obligation to take down images because the subject of the photograph objects to his property being depicted. If he doesn’t want his car to be seen he shouldn’t take it out in public.

Yes, the photograph was posted on fotoLibra for the purpose of financial gain. We haven’t yet found someone who is planning a calendar of AC cars, but we always live in hope.

You can’t stop anyone taking and publishing a photograph of your house, and it’s a lot easier to find out who lives in a house than who owns a car. Just check the electoral roll, or the census. We as private individuals can’t find out who owns this car by looking at the registration plate (which we’ve pixelated out here).

©Geoff Alan France / fotoLibra

But private parking companies can get a driver’s name and address simply by submitting the vehicle registration number to the DVLA and filling in a form confirming that they are pursuing an alleged parking offence.

The DVLA charges £2.50 a time for details from its ‘confidential’ database of 38m drivers. Income from this lucrative sideline in selling our personal data has risen every year from £4.7million in 2004-5 to £9.2m for 2009-10.

The owner of the car might find more reason to complain about this collaboration than about an enthusiastic photograph in a picture library.

What do you think?


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4 Responses to “Privacy”

  1. Gaz says:

    I despair of this country.

    How on earth does a picture of his car in a bloody field at some sort of vehicle show invade his privacy?


    If people like this had their way it would soon be illegal to take a photo of anything.

  2. Graham Sadd says:

    I agree that this is a bit ‘picky’ albeit that I am a strong advocate of an individual being able to protect their privacy. This car is in a public place and, assuming it was driven there on public highways, could have been photographed by anyone at any time for any purpose. A celebrity cannot complain about having their photo taken when walking up the red carpet and, similarly, if you are ‘showing off’ your flashy car then you are putting it in the public domain. The best solution for this individual is to keep the car locked away and to submit photographs (with the number plate obscured) to fotoLibra so that any financial gain is retained.

  3. ian says:

    Go to a car rally, park it for all to see, Show Off!, be pleased that everyone likes it, win a prize, sell burgers, parking, programs etc to all and sundry – Public place equals public photography, and write to every CCTV camera owner on the way home

  4. David Carton says:

    Seems a bit sad. I have to say most people who exhibit their cars at this sort of Rally are usually very friendly, and invariably are pleased to talk to you about their pride & joy, and have never had anyone ask me to not take a picture.