The law on use of digital images and consent needs to be changed.
Speaking in the House recently, I said the current law does not appear to recognise the difference between viewing someone naked, and filming/photographing someone naked - without consent.
Would most people be happy being deliberately filmed or photographed doing a private act, without having consented to the video or photo – filmed by another person (partner, spouse or stranger) - despite the fact that the other person was present with them whilst the private act was being carried out?
Surely the answer is no.
Taking of digital images without consent, and particularly the lack of recourse in law for victims, is a very serious issue.
I highlighted a particular case concerning a very brave woman, my constituent Emily, who has chosen to speak out about her experience in the hope that we can secure a change in the law. I hope that by speaking about her ordeal it will encourage others to share their experience with us, so we can add their voices to persuading the Government of the need for action.
We don’t want bad law made in a hurry, but the Government needs to urgently tackle this. These issues cause great distress, so the Government has to think of a way forward.
We live in a time when everybody has a camera in their pocket, everyone has a laptop with a tiny camera in their bedrooms. So we need laws fit for the 21st century.
Nowadays everyone is a photojournalist in respect of their own, and others, life story. It’s time for better regulation in this area.