As you probably know by now, Dani Mathers is the former Los Angeles-based radio DJ personality and Playmate who photographed a nude senior citizen women in the gym sauna. She then blasted the image with disparaging remarks about the woman’s appearance to her half a million followers. She later said she only meant to show the image to a token few friends and accidentally showed everyone. (That doesn’t really matter much, does it?)
The public was aghast at her 1)body-shaming 2) invasion of privacy. The latter is a crime and LAPD said they’d love to press charges but the naked subject of Dani’s photo was unknown. Well, the elderly woman was located and turns out, she DID want to press charges. As of four days ago, she is facing up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine (plus, her victim could sue her civilly for millions if she wanted.)
Dani Mather’s body will – one day – age, sag and wither, too. This whole event saddens me so I want to turn it into a positive. Let’s talk about what a reasonable expectation of privacy is.
First of all, the actual act of taking the photograph – not the dissemination via SnapChat – is the crime. The right to privacy as a human right is alluded to United States 4th Amendment. Wikipedia states:
“Privacy is one of the rights that were absent in the society of Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984. Without privacy, there would be nothing to stop a ‘Big Brother‘-like entity from taking control of every aspect of life.”
And that’s why we do what we do here at SaferTech.
Say you are on a beach one day. You didn’t ask someone to take your picture, you didn’t pose, you didn’t step into the frame of any camera lens – you catch someone just snapping your picture without your permission. Yes, that’s a jerk move – but it’s not illegal. The setting changes things, of course.
The Dani Mathers incident happened in a private gym/sauna with a membership and the older woman absolutely had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Did you know that you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you put out your garbage, are in an open field (which is relevant with drones these days) nor is anything considering reasonably private a drug-sniffer dog can smell!…You can start to think about how this complicates all matters of surveillance technology and privacy in marketing and consumerism matters. It also matters from state to state. Did you know it’s legal to take a picture up a women’s skirt in Georgia if it is done in a grocery store? Georgia’s very narrow definition of reasonable expectation of privacy only prohibits such recordings such recording only if they “occur in any private place and out of public view.”
In Georgia, the ruling came down to the interpretation of “place.” The court was divided, but ultimately, the majority opinion said that “place” referred to a physical location, not an area of the body, and thus the non-consensual photos taken were legal. – Holly Kearl, TIME Magazine
In any case, the gym where this occurred banned Mathers for life and were very local about their disappointment. We don’t want this incident to dissuade you from working out! Here, at SaferTech, we want you to be your best selves and be healthy! But, as always – be mindful! You can always change in a bathroom stall. If you see someone taking your picture, tell them it is making you uncomfortable and to stop. Contact a supervisor or the police if need be. Even if it’s not illegal, make a scene and turn the tables. Publicly shaming them just may do the trick.
Yes, It’s Legal to Take Pictures Up a Woman’s Skirt Without Her Consent by Holly Kearl - http://time.com/4422772/upskirt-photos-harassment/