VIC Photographing Person In Restaurant and Posting to Facebook - Legal?

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8 February 2015
Can I take a photograph of someone in a restaurant?
What if I decide to and post it on Facebook or other social media?
Can someone push me and block my path while demanding I delete the photograph?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Bellyflop,

Take a read of "Privacy Breach - Photography of Individuals Without Consent" which should answer your question.

In short, whilst it is probably not illegal, if the subject of the photograph requests that their photo be taken down after it was taken and published without their consent, it would be nice to do so.


Hi Bellyflop,

Further to Sarah's comments, yes in short its most likely legal. Taking pictures of people in public (i.e. if the photographer and subject are in a public place) is generally permitted by the law and there are no rights to privacy per se in Australia that protect a person's "image". Equally there is nothing preventing a person from capturing a picture of a person who is on private property (which a restaurant may be) if they are in clear view from where the photographer is standing on public property.

The privacy laws that we have regulate the way that large corporations deal with your personal information such as contact details or sensitive personal information. The only basis upon which someone might have a cause of action is based on a case from 2003 in which there had been a significant history of harassment by an individual over many years.

However if you intend to use the photograph for a commercial use (for example an advertising or promotion campaign) you should have the person sign a release to say that you are authorised to use their image to endorse a product because this may give rise to legal claims such as defamation or passing off.

As for stopping you and pushing you in the street that is prima facie trespass to person (assault or unlawful imprisonment) at common law for which you can technically sue them, however if you have suffered no damage you will only be entitled to nominal compensation so the cost of bringing the action will likely exceed the damages.


Well-Known Member
30 May 2014
LOL... really... So you think you can take my photo? post it up on facebook, and then what? All it takes is a few slanderous comments, and a few individuals defaming my "image" and I am off to hit the jackpot... I can claim damages for the insult and denigrated affect to my being.... I have been made a public slanderous libel case... One that will empty your pockets... as facebook as we know.. lists your full names, and more than likely where you take a dump every morning to serve you.

You think that someone pushing you in the street to take down the photo is assault or 'trespass to the person'? Unfortunately s. 22 of the Criminal Code will defend any rubbish like that.... You are posting peoples images up for public comment.. It may be borderline 'lawful' if there are no lewd or insulting remarks that damage that persons reputation, or their earning capacity...

I wouldn't just push you to take down those photos if I became aware of them... I would submit you in the Supreme Court....