Secretly snapped shots of University of Arkansas students have a lot of people wondering what their rights are when it comes to unknowingly having their pictures taken.
UA campus police learned a man was taking pictures of students while they were working out. The students did not know the pictures were being taken, until they showed up on social media. The anonymous Twitter handle @ HPERprobsUARK posted more than a dozen pictures, and apologized for whoever the account offended.
"With iPhones and Android type phones, the technology is out there. You can't stop it. We will do what we can to police it, if we see folks taking pictures, but that's hard to identify. You could be sending a text, you could be changing music, you could be watching a movie on your phone, but the obvious stuff, of course we'll curb that," said Jeremy Battjes, Director of University Recreation.
Now the question is, when do candid captures become criminal?
"People can take pictures of people out at the mall, at the park, any place that's public, people walking around, you can take pictures. It may be creepy, unless the person is Ansel Adams or their doing it for art purposes, but it's legal," said Washington County Prosecutor John Threet.
"The first part really deals with the place. Is it a place that's out of public view, it's meant to be private, the person there has a reasonable expectation of privacy?"
Obvious examples of places meant to be private are bathrooms or fitting rooms. But if you are in public, driving down the street or walking down the sidewalk, it is not a crime for someone to snag a shot even if you have asked them not to.
"Just because you didn't want your picture taken, if you've put yourself in public, then your picture may be taken."
But taking certain photos can land you in prison.
"The second part of video voyeurism deals mainly with trying to see a person who is covered in clothing, some people use the phrase 'upskirting.'"
Shooting down someone's shirt without their consent is illegal, and in an instant those pictures can be shared.
"Now, it can be sent out everywhere automatically within seconds of having the photograph taken," said Threet.
So knowing your rights, will not always keep the cameras away.
"In restaurants or gyms, or wherever, if you're out in a public place, people can take photographs."