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QLD Company is Skype Video Recording My Lessons Without Consent

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by KatrinaZ, 11 November 2015.

  1. KatrinaZ

    KatrinaZ Member

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    Hi there,

    I have a situation where I have found out that a company I am contracted to in the UK are video recording my Skype lessons with students (I am an Online English tutor) without consent. I feel violated but uncertain whether there is a legal aspect here in Australia I can bring to their attention as this is not the first time I have told them I do not appreciate being filmed without my knowledge. I was also "informed" that all videos can be used as marketing material to the company's discretion and I am NOT ok with this.

    I would really like to bring this to their attention without jeopardising my employment contract with them, although I am feeling like their ethics aren't exactly up to scratch.

    Any help would be most appreciated.

    Here's a excerpt of what I have drafted up but I feel it's a bit too "forward" for the British / Spanish to not take personally.

    --

    I finally located the email that you sent back in March 2015 specifying that observation lessons will be recorded. It also mentioned that the footage could be used as marketing material. Despite suspecting that you were conducting mystery quality control lessons (which I am completely fine with), it is considered a criminal offence here in Australia to record anyone without the individual’s knowledge or written consent of those who are being filmed - something I have already spoken about with "----" earlier this year.

    ("----" is one of the co-founders of the school).

    I am just making you aware of this as I never received any request for written consent for taking video footage and I honestly haven’t been able to shake the feelings of violation. I would appreciate that no footage that has been taken up to date is to be used as marketing material and I suggest that you provide some general guideline over how often you intend to take footage for “observations purposes”. As the current arrangement stands (with no guidelines or anywhere where this information can be found), I am not comfortable with Skype sessions being recorded without any limitations. If some general guidelines are provided with respect to the ethical aspect of this monitoring, I would be more comfortable with how lessons are observed in future.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi KatrinaZ,

    This is a tricky one. What you have drafted sounds fair. Unfortunately you cannot make any express statements that you do not give or you withdraw your consent to record your video lessons as you consented to this as part of your employment contract and if you do not want to jeopardise the contract then you may need to either submit to their rules or softly negotiate on this point, as you appear to be doing.

    In terms of copyright, generally the person who makes a recording owns the copyright to it. However, you could control their use of the video by coming to an agreement that you own the copyright to any video that they take of you. Then you permit them a licence to use the video only for the purposes of quality control.

    Likely since you have already consented to the filming being used for marketing purposes, legally, you would not be able to prevent them using recordings taken to date for marketing (Although they may agree to abide by your wishes). However, you could prevent it from now on by withdrawing your consent in this regard.
     
    KatrinaZ likes this.
  3. KatrinaZ

    KatrinaZ Member

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    Thanks for your response Sophea.

    As it stands, there is nothing in my employment contract that states they have the right to record any material without my knowledge. It was a mere "we may record your lessons as a means of quality control and use this as marketing material" in the midst of long lists of announcements they send out in a long email. Is that something companies can do legally?

    In my experience all recorded seminars and conferences I've been to here in Australia have had very details waivers I've needed to sign at each and every event I've attended.

    Surprised and a bit confused about our legal system
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Are you a qualified teacher?

    I would put a sign up when tutoring stating that you're not consenting to the footage being used. That should stop them using the footage and buys you back some of the control you feel you've lost because of he violation.

    I'd quit unlesss the money is really, really good.

    I do understand the sense of violation and as a teacher I'd have issues with this but I don't think we are far away from this being common practice. My youngest kid is at pre-school and they have cameras set up to invite parents to log on and ee what their kids are up to during the day. I've never done it and I find it weird. When my kid is at pre-school, I'm at work so, I'm too busy to log on...
     

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