Is there a right of privacy in public spaces?

based on the documents you are arguing when covering vulnerable populations – especially people engaged in civil unrest or political protest – journalists should blur the faces of people in their photos. Last Fall, several students at Northwestern in Evanston engaged in a public protest of an appearance by former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Student reporters at the Northwestern Daily covered the protest, photographing the student protestors, posting some of those photos on Twitter and, later, using the campus directory to contact several of them for interviews. Several of the students objected to the Daily coverage, characterizing it as “invasive.” At least one student threatened unspecified legal action against North by Northwestern, another student publication, for its coverage of the protest and its aftermath. More recently, protests in the US and around the world following the police killing of George Floyd in May have raised questions about the ethics of journalists photographing protestors, especially when law enforcement can or will use facial recognition technology to identify protestors for arrest or prosecution. In the Northwestern case, of course, the student journalists did nothing more than consult a publicly available directory. But ethical concerns about photographing protestors engaged in political protest arise from Gaza to Portland to Hong Kong. Debate: Even in relatively democratic countries, police can and will use facial recognition technology to identify protestors. (Police can also seize your camera or subpoena your photographs.) Do journalists owe a special duty of care to people protesting in public?

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