Was L.B. Jeffries Violating Privacy Laws in Rear Window?

Image via IMDB

Although the NPRD and this site are dedicated to preserving the rights of photographers as well as educating the public about those rights, we must be impartial, and discuss the other side of this issue — an individual’s right to privacy.

So, was L.B. Jeffries violating privacy laws using a giant telephoto lens to peer inside his neighbors’ apartments in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window where there was an expectation of privacy? … The answer is YES.

And if you do a quick search on this subject you will quickly find numerous sites and discussions debating this issue. Or just simply type in Andrew Kantor, and you may come across the following PDF explaining a person’s right to privacy.

Whether we can take a photograph is determined by whether the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy or seclusion. If not — if he’s visible to the public (even on private property) — photography is legal.  The logic is simple: If you can see it, you can photograph it. If it requires extraordinary means to see (e.g., using a telephoto lens, or trespassing on property not open to the public such as a private office), then you may not be able to photograph it legally.

So all of you out there with telephoto lenses, take note. If you would like more information on this subject, there are some links in our Know Your Rights section.

4 Responses to “Was L.B. Jeffries Violating Privacy Laws in Rear Window?”


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