Rights to privacy on company website

| 06/06/2016

My employer has put my picture on their website without my consent. I want my employer to respect my privacy and do not wish to have my photo on his website in the contacts section. I am OK with my name, phone extension and e-mail, but do not see the necessity of having my unprotected picture displayed publicly without my consent. Do I have the right to ask that it be removed?

Auntie’s answer: I completely understand anyone’s hesitation in putting anything up on the internet these days. As everyone pretty much knows, whatever gets posted pretty much stays there forever. Now that you have asked the question, I have noticed that on some company websites, not all the staff listed have pictures next to their names and perhaps that is for the same concerns as you have.

I checked on your rights with a lawyer and he explained that it depends on what your employment contract says, which will determine whether you are entitled to request removal of the picture, if the photo “was submitted for non-public reasons”.

He also suggests that you might want to contact the Department of Labour and Pensions for clarification. I have found the officials there very helpful with other questions I have asked so I am hopeful you will get the information you need. And for the benefit of other readers, please let me know what you find out.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An individual is entitled to the control of their likeness. No company owns your likeness such as your photo and voice etc. I suggest requesting in writing that your picture is removed and that going forward your permission is requested for use of your likeness and state in writing your approval and also you can state that it’s use expires etc. on a certain period in the near or distant future. You can also ask to have all photos of you returned to you and no copies are retained. That is your intellectual right.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a great question and reply; I always wondered about that. The photos of our staff members on our website are professionally done and are good quality. Since it doesn’t take very much effort to download images from the internet, doesn’t this raise identity theft concerns?

    • Anonymous says:

      Going slightly off topic here. I noticed over the course of my working life a lot of people sign off on letters using their real signature. I know that might sound like a silly observation, but seriously – if I am writing and signing correspondence on behalf of my company, I would handwrite (cursive) my name rather than using the signature you would see on the back of my credit cards, on my ID, passport, etc. I suppose in some cases it is necessary to sign correspondence “properly”. But can you imagine if someone (perhaps not the letter recipient) swiped your signature, as well as your photo from the company website? Scary to think of the mischief that could happen!

  3. Idiot says:

    I am assuming here you have FB amd or friends with it and am pretty sure your picture is all over Thier pages.

    Be thankful you have a job and get over it!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like a real career limiting move to kick up a stink.

    • Anonymous says:

      No I do not have FB and do not post pictures of myself and this is unrelated to employment, this is about privacy rights. Your view is extremely narrow minded and EXACTLY why we need privacy rights because that is precisely the same lame argument an employer would use

      • Cho King Often says:

        Depending upon where you have certain documents on file, they may be publicly accessible in government databases and websites already. Have you done a google search on your name for site references AND images? You may be unpleasantly surprised at how “public” you really are. You may find that there are numerous photos of social settings and other public events that include your image. There is generally no limitation on such images taken in a public setting!

        That being said, your raising a stink about it at work may truly be endangering your position. Look at your terms of employment and see if you have any leg to stand on with your position in this matter. Employers who build lasting relationships with vendors or clients often showcase the staff members to encourage personal recognition in building those relationships.

        As an example, check out the Foster’s Food Fair website where many of their “key employees” are listed, usually with a photo. Also, see how many people have “won” their many sweepstakes and as a condition of receiving their “prize” agree to have a photo posted on the board showing amounts and winners. It is quite a common practice.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know about you but my job is based on qualifications and ability, not looks. Try coming up with a more cogent adult argument. The writer simply asked for clarification. What right do you have to make assumptions and disrespect the writer?