Social media users are posting viral videos of people being filmed unwittingly. Here are the rules

Picture this: you’re about to pay at the grocery store but a stranger comes up and swipes their card instead.

Or you’re walking down the street and somebody you’ve never met asks you to hold a speaker for them while they go to the bathroom — next minute, music is blaring from the stereo and the owner is nowhere to be seen.

The situations may seem strange, but these acts are increasingly being orchestrated with a camera nearby, capturing reactions to be shared on social media.

So, even if the stranger didn’t ask if they could use this footage, can it really be shared online?

Does a person need my permission to film me?

The TikTok logo on the screen of a smartphone.
TikTok users are posting viral videos without the consent of the people in them.(Flickr: ajay_suresh)

If you’re in a public place, no.

According to Barbara McDonald, a professor at the University of Sydney Law School, there’s no law against filming another person in public.

That’s because there isn’t a law in Australia that protects your privacy as an individual.

“If I’m just an ordinary individual then it’s difficult to say that privacy is protected,” Professor McDonald says.

What if I don’t want it on social media?

This is what happened to a Melbourne woman this week when she found out a video posted without her consent of a man leaving her flowers collected 57 million views and 10.9 million likes.

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Written by Sharecaster

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