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by on April 5, 2013

Since we are currently on the topic of privacy and ethics, I wanted to address the whole public bathroom scenario. In my photojournalism class, we talked about whether or not a journalist should be allowed to take a photo in a public bathroom – kind of like the same idea of writing about the man peeing and not washing his hands. The “public” bathroom is a tough situation. Yes, it’s public, but there is a level of privacy expected. We should be able to take a picture of someone in a public space, right? If taking a photo of the person in the bathroom is relevant to your story, would you do it? Thinking in deontological terms, and based on my values, I would first ask for permission to take the photo instead of just snapping away because I respect others privacy in the restroom. However, by asking, the person will most likely deny me, making me miss my chance of sneakily capturing the photo if I were to never ask in the first place.. What would you do in this scenario?  


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One Comment
  1. Felicia Cohen permalink

    I don’t think it is ethical to slip a camera under a stall or like discussed in class, write about a man not washing his hands in the bathroom (unless he is a chef at the restaurant you are in or something). However, I am okay with taking photos in the bathroom that are directly relevant, like if there was a murder.

    This reminds me of a story a few years back about cameras being placed in fitting rooms, that were supposed to help monitor theft. These were deemed illegal in a lot of places because of the invasion of privacy aspect, that people were naked and changing in the fitting room.

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