Modern day technology means that cameras are everywhere, very few public events are not coupled with mass recordings on phones, which are then uploaded to Snapchat, Facebook or Youtube. But what happens when you want one removed?
Modern day technology means that cameras are everywhere, very few public events are not coupled with mass recordings on phones, which are then uploaded to Snapchat, Facebook or Youtube. The former two platforms do not usually cause a lot of trouble, as the networks tend to be private based on authorised connections, however it is much more common for Youtube videos to uploaded as completely public. Problems arise when individuals appear in video that have not given consent and perhaps do not wish to be identified as attending a specific event or partaking in certain activities.
The reasons vary, common examples are things such as appearing in videos of political demonstrations or perhaps at an event that would clash with religious norms in certain countries. If you own the video and it has been uploaded or copied by a 3rd party then you are the copyright holder of the content and this is a simple DMCA request, which Google (Youtube owner) should have no problem of enacting. However, problems tend to arise when people have been filmed without consent and do not own the video.
So when can you have a video removed that you appear in?
The essential factor that determines whether Google will consider removing a video, of which you are not the owner, is if you are easily and uniquely identifiable.
Youtube’s privacy guidelines state that they will consider removing a video if you are easily identifiable by:
national insurance number
However, terms like gaming tags, nicknames, address without a name would generally not be considered grounds for removal. In addition, Google will take into account public interest and newsworthiness when making decisions.
What constitutes uniquely identifiable?
Simply put, there must be sufficient information or time to allow others to recognise you, without prior knowledge of your location or personal information. It’s important to note that just because you can identify yourself in a video does not automatically qualify you as “uniquely identifiable”. A camera pan with a fleeting image or a first name alone are also unlikely to qualify.
The good news is that if you meet the above criteria and have a valid reason for wanting the video removed then you have a solid case to do so. Although, sometimes cases are not so simple.
Google, has had a few complicated cases in recent years, where consent and ownership have been challenged.
A good example is Garcia vs Google. In the case the actress Cindy Garcia, she appeared in a Youtube movie where her voice was dubbed and the script changed; the resulting statement was deemed offensive by many in the muslim community. In response to this Ms. Garcia tried to have the video removed from Youtube, however as she was not the copyright owner, Google refused. In an attempt to work around the actress is trying to copyright her performance and therefore have the ability to have the video removed. There has been no resolution yet, but if the court decided in favour of Ms. Garcia then there will surely be implications for future copyright cases on Youtube.