Post # 1
First of all, I work at a vet office. My “patients” are the animals I assist in treating every day, aka dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. When I take really cute pictures of the animals coming into work, I’ll post some up on Instagram. NEVER do I reveal any information about the name of the pet, or any information about the owner of the pet. I never say bad things about the pet, or owners, ever in my IG pictures. My manager pulled me aside and told me that it was “illegal” to post these pictures. What??? No, I did not get consent from the owners to post these photos on my IG, but quite surely they cannot be “illegal” if there was no information posted about these animals. I’ve been posting work photos for over two years now. . . lol.
Regardless, I deleted them and apologized, mentioning that I was not aware that I was not allowed to upload them if I kept information about the patient of their owners out of the post. She simply said to not do it ever again.
I cannot seem to find any information about this. And I cannot find my company handbook at the moment. I was FAIRLY certain I recall that it was okay to post pictures as long as information was withheld. Does anyone know anything about this?
Post # 2
I can’t imagine that it is illegal, but it is not advisable. I would be displeased if I stumbled upon a picture of my pet or one of someone I know. I am sure you meant no harm, but you should not do it. I doubt there is a real law against it though.
Post # 3
It very well could be illegal. I work at a daycare and it would be illegal to post photos of the kids without their parents permission even if there is no information of their names/info, etc. I know it’s not the same but it could be the same with pets.
Post # 4
MrsN14: Well the kids thing makes sense, or the parents themselves without their permission. But their pets?! IDK it just seemed strange to me.
Post # 5
You posted them with good intentions, what if someone else decided to use those pictures for ads or something? You did not get permission from the owner to post pictures of their animal and once you post pictures anyone could use them at anytime.
Post # 6
For humans, there are HIPPA and privacy laws that govern sharing of patient information, and vets/vet offices may have something similar. You would maybe need to look online to see if there are similar privacy laws with non-human patients in healthcare settings.
Post # 7
I might be in the minority with this but I would be a little put off if I found a picture of my dogs on someones IG or other social media. I’m sure this comes from me being a teacher, and never ever, even thinking about posting pictures of my students. They’re children – and I might sound like a crazy dog lady, but, my dogs are my kids. (Not saying dogs=kids.. but I love them just as much). I think you did the right thing- apologizing and deleting. While I don’t think it’s “Illegal” I think it’s just a poor judgement call – someone may have called to complain.
Maybe you could ask your boss to start a blog for the office? You’d get consent from owners, and post their cute pics- you could also help out local shelters/rescues that way!
Post # 8
I don’t know about the legalities of it, but I’d imagine your supervisor wants to protect themselves and the business. It’s quite possible that someone might see the pictures of their pets and get upset that they were taken and shared without permission – leading to complaints, bad reviews and lost business. I’d say stop posting or at least get consent from the owner before doing so.
I work in healthcare, and if make a point not to post anything about work on Facebook, even if no patient details are shared. It’s just not worth the risk of offending people (patients, colleagues, potential employers).
Post # 9
LittlePumpkin: I would think that would be OK too if you left personal info and names out. Its much different with kids as you could look and say “hey thats x” where as with pets, you can’t be certain. Many dogs of the same breeds look the same.
Anyways, I bet some person saw something and complained. It probably isn’t illegal, but if better to be on the safe side.
Post # 10
LittlePumpkin: I doubt that it was illegal. Obviously it depends on where you live. Normally, if it is legal to take the picture, it is legal to post the picture.
You can post pictures of people without their consent as long as there was no reasonable expectation of privacy e.g someone using the bathroom. You cannot post pics for financial gain.
Some sites also have rules about posting pics without consent.
Was it a good idea for you to do so? No. You should ask the pets’ owners if they mind.
Post # 11
I don’t know if it’s illegal or not, but I know that there are still privacy laws with pets and vets. One of our dogs was a rescue who we rehomed from her previous owner. I wasn’t allowed to call her old vet and receive information about her. So, I could see how this could fall under that same type of thing. Someone could see that their friends animal is at the vet and they may not want people to know.
Post # 12
LittlePumpkin: well then I did an illegal thing too, and all the people at the animal hospitals I worked at did too! We always did that. We never posted any of the animal’s identifying information, but sometimes you cant help but take a picture of the new born puppies that were delievered via c-section or the most awkwardly adorable 19 year old dog that you can believe is STILL alive. lol! I still see everyone posting those pictures on facebook, even though I no longer work there.
Post # 13
julies1949: I’d imagine the inside of a vet’s office would entitle you to a reasonable expectation of privacy though. Even though it’s accessible to the public, it’s still a private property and you can’t be there unless you’ve got legitimate business there.
OP probably a good idea if you just don’t do anything wth your phone while working, because then you can focus your attention on working.
Post # 14
It may not be illegal, but they’re not your animals to take pictures of. You should get the owners’ permission before posting pictures of their pets on the internet.
Post # 15
Legality all depends on where you live, so no one could answer that without knowing specifics. Even if it’s not illegal, it is in bad taste. Photographing someone’s pet without their permission seems invasive to me.