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Can I sue a company if a patron takes a photo of me without my permission and post it online ?

Whittier, CA |

I'm a member of a well know gym and I've seen patrons taking pictures with smart phones . If a patron posts a photo of me online can I hold the gym liable and sue them ? Are there any privacy laws for taking unauthorized photos of patrons at a gym ?

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, you have many privacy rights. However, those rights diminish once you go out into the public. For instance, taking a picture of patrons in a restaurant would not violate their privacy. Nor would taking the pictures of people working out in a gym. That is because, once you are in public places you should have not expectation of privacy.

The story changes once you enter the locker room. There, because you are changing clothes, etc. you do have an expectation of privacy. Certainly, someone who takes your picture in a state of undress is invading your privacy, and they are creating liability for themselves.

Which brings us to the question of whether you can sue the gym itself. That is a tricky question and is going to depend on many facts not in your post: Does the gym have a smart phone policy posted? Does the gym enforce the policy? and many more.

If you feel your rights have been violated, you should speak with an attorney.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.


Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

I agree with attorney Jaffe. It is questionable if you can sue the gym for the acts of a patron. However, you may have a cause of action against he patron who took the photos. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.


Since the gym is a public place, you probably have no right to privacy.
But, most gyms have a no photo policy unless they grant permission. So you may have some sort of claim against the gym for allowing a violation of the policy.
I don't have any idea what your damages might be.

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