The French have a not so photogenic privacy law that prohibits you from photographing anyone, even in a public place, without their written permission. Had the law been activated before 1970, we would not have had the pleasure of seeing many of the poetic works by street photographers such as Eugène Atget, Brassai, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau.
In the 1950s, Doisneau photographed a couple kissing in front of the Hotel de Ville in Paris. The photograph, extremely popular, was transformed into millions of postcards. Jean and Denise Lavergne claimed they were the couple and wanted to be compensated. They filed a suit against Doisneau who, to avoid legal penalties, had to confess that there was nothing spontaneous about the photo — the couple immortalized was that of Françoise Delbart and Jacques Carteaud, two unemployed actors.
So aren’t security cameras an invasion of privacy?
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