French Privacy

As photographer/blogger Blake Andrews recently did a glorious effort to restore respectability to old unseemly shots, I suddenly felt somewhat guilty of some street shots I did in Paris last summer. As you may know (or not), French law is one of the most protective with regards to privacy, and doing candid shots without prior authorization can cause you a court suit, not less. Actually I am not sure about what the exact law is (based on the article 9 du Code Civil which was amended in 1995, and its subsequent jurisprudence) but as a matter of fact some photographers such as Martin Parr and Nick Turpin are very cautious about that when they shoot in France.

So, in order to be privacy-compliant, the following shot:

Rue de Rennes, Paris, 2010


… should be altered this way if published in a French media (without prior signed authorization from the models):

Indeed we have nice streets in Paris...


But wait… What in a photograph really might cause a breach of privacy ? Is it the model very description, or the environment where he/she is captured ? or both ? Here I am not speaking from a legal point of view of course, but from a very visual perspective.

To figure that out I did the following alteration:

Indeed we have beautiful women in Paris..


Any thought ?