A Chicago retail worker tiredly boarded the #145 Wilson/Michigan Express CTA bus after a long work day. She inserted her earbuds, fired up her iPod and tried to relax. But Jennifer Fastwolf didn’t realize a woman across the aisle had taken a photo of her unwinding until Fastwolf’s friend told her the photo was posted on People of Public Transit.
Fastwolf didn’t like that her privacy was violated, so she requested that the photo be taken down. Though the site stated that photos would be taken down upon request, the site’s owner refused Fastwolf’s entreaty.
That’s when the Tribune’s Problem Solver stepped in. Reporter Jon Yates interceded and asked the site owner to take down the photo. He finally said he would, but not before making her photo the only one on the site for a period of time until midnight Sunday night.
This mean-spirited response sparked a firestorm of criticism in comments directed at site owner John Kubera. And those criticisms are well-deserved.
Taking photos of unsuspecting persons on the public way or on public transit is not against the law. Certainly I have posted photos on CTA Tattler of people doing stupid things, sleeping, putting on makeup, or whatever. I have never gotten a request to take down a photo, but if I did I would.
Do you think websites should post photos of people on public transit without their knowledge or approval?