When it comes to Christmas plays the decision whether or not to allow parents to take photographs can be a contentious issue. Yesterday the Information Commissioner’s Office released further guidance for schools on the issue.
Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham said:
“Having a child perform at a school play or a festive concert is a very proud moment for parents and is understandably a memory that many want to capture on camera. It is disappointing to hear that the myth that such photos are forbidden by the Data Protection Act still prevails in some schools.
A common sense approach is needed – clearly, photographs simply taken for a family album are exempt from data protection laws. Armed with our guidance, parents should feel free to snap away this Christmas and stand ready to challenge any schools or councils that say ‘Bah, Humbug’ to a bit of festive fun.”
The ICO has produced guidance to dispel any confusion and explain parents’ rights under the Act. The guidance also provides advice for local education authorities and those working within schools, explaining that the Data Protection Act is unlikely to apply in most situations where photographs are taken by parents in schools.
The Act does apply when photographs of children are taken for official use by a school or college such as for issuing identification passes. In the other small number of instances where the Data Protection Act does apply, if the photographer obtains permission from the parent or individual to take a photograph, then this will usually be enough to ensure compliance.
For further information visit the website at: www.ico.gov.uk.