Here’s one to get Jeff’s steam up…
The local chapter of the SDP in Barsinghausen had campaigned for years to get a pedestrian crossing put in on a busy road. They finally got it installed and on their Facebook fanpage, they included a photo of the workers installing the traffic light and an old photo from one of the meetings, where they discussed the matter.
In the latter were the couple S. (German anonymity laws prohibit the naming of the person(s)) were visible. Mr. S. was approached by several colleagues about his appearance on the SDP Barsinghausen Facebook fanpage and he felt uncomfortable about it. He approached the SDP to have the photo removed, they replied, saying it was freedom of the press (the photo had originally been published in a newspaper in 2014), but they did remove the photo.
Not entirely happy, they then went to the Data Protection Representative for the State of Lower Saxony and asked them to check the validity of the claim.
The SDP chapter, on the other hand, used the artist laws and press laws to try and justify them using the photo (for which they did not have a waiver), plus the fact that it was a crowd photo.
The Data Protection Office replied that it did fall under GDPR, photos of people are personally identifiable data. And the SDP were a political party, not press.
The SDP chapter went to court to try and get the decision overturned, but the court took the DPO’s side and refused to hear the issue.
The upshot is, that a Facebook “fanpage” is not a legitimate press outlet and therefore press laws over photographs can’t be used. If you are going to put a photo on the fanpage, you need to ensure you have waivers from everyone in the photos.
The wording says that, although the photo was originally used in a news article and if you attend an event, you cannot expect to not appear in photos in the press. But you should, on the other hand, not expect the image to re-appear from the depths of oblivion, especially when the site owner is not a recognised press outlet.
The final verdict is, that the press has certain freedoms, which not everyone can make use of. Especially fansites and other online publishers, who do not follow journalistic goals, can’t be careful enough with how they handle personal photos. Not every offence against the GDPR (DSGVO in German) will result in a fine of just a few hundred Euros.