I'll be going from Dublin to London on a trip in November. I have recently purchased a high-quality Nikon camera. I'd like to take photos of the start of my journey and not just when I arrive. My friend told me that taking photos itself might be a breach of GDPR. I also plan to post these photos on Flickr.

Another added related question, why is taking photographs not allowed in airports at passport control and in the area where customs officers do secondary inspections?

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    There's no single set of rules valid for all countries or airports,so please clarify which airports you are interested in.
    – TooTea
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 7:21
  • "High quality camera" is sometime a problem. Handheld or with tripod? "Liability" is the reason for both cases Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 9:38
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    Before a lot of canards get trotted out again, I recommend this answer. Not only does it deal with the issue of taking photos in London (basically, photography is legal in public places in the UK, though airports generally do not constitute public places, and the right does not apply there), but the linked chat deals with the answer of whether the GDPR applies to private photography (several sources are quoted saying it doesn't, and no sources are quoted saying it does).
    – MadHatter
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 12:02
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    It is certainly true that in some European countries the taking of photographs of individuals in public places without their consent is unlawful (for example, in France), but it is not the GDPR that makes it so. I am not well-informed on the legal situation on photography in public places in Eire, so cannot comment on whether there is some other law there that would ban the practice.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 12:04
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    There are many other questions about photography at airports. Some countries have specific laws against photography at passport/security checks, generally for security reasons, but wider prohibitions are based on airports being private spaces. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/141177/… travel.stackexchange.com/questions/95900/… travel.stackexchange.com/questions/125626/…
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


Your question falls apart in several bits.

First of all, you can start your photo series at home, getting ready for the travel, getting packed, things loaded in the transport that gets you to the airport, the parts of the airport where you can take photos and so on.

You can take photos with other people in them, at least in Ireland and the UK, as long as you do not post them on open platforms. Sharing with people in a way that is not open is mostly not a problem, but if people see your camera (or phone or whatever) and show they do not want to be in the pic, respect that.

There are parts of airports where there are 'no photo' signs. This is to protect people working there and people passing through immigration and those parts of the airports, and you should always respect those signs.

Posting photos online, wherever and whenever taken, is getting more difficult over the years. What is allowed now may be illegal next month or next year.
To be on the safe side, do not post photos with people recognizable on internet unless you know the people and have asked permission to do so.
That way you will not break current and likely not break future laws. What is currently allowed differs per country and is subject to change, so I will not go into details. (See the comments on the other answer for details.)

If you feel the need to take a photo in the secure area of the airports, where there are usually 'no photo' signs, like to document something the officials there do, ask their permission and go by what they allow you. And if they tell you 'private use only' posting on internet is out of it.

In many parts of the airport you can take photos, it has been quite a time since I was in Dublin, but I have taken photos in many other airports and never had troubles finding ones that did not show forbidden subjects or recognizable people.


Important nuance here: taking photos with people in them might be problematic as pictures can be considered personal data under GDPR

So if you're taking pictures on the street, you have to ask for consent to feature someone in a shot. GDPR does not allow consent to be asked AFTER the photograph is made, only before. You might not have super big issues if people cannot be easily identified in the shot (e.g. they're facing away from you, super far away, etc.), but better to err on the side of the caution if you intend to publish those pictures.

Furthermore, GDPR also establishes "right to be forgotten" so even if someone okayed the picture (or was not very obvious that it was them), if they request their picture to be taken down, you have to comply with it

About taking pictures at passport control and secondary inspection areas, in general, those areas are not classified as public, so you're not subject to the same legal protections for photographing and filming that are granted to public spaces in most jurisdictions.

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    blpawards.org/competition/photo-rights seems very much at odds with your statements
    – AakashM
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 8:39
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    @AakashM Ireland is not in the UK, it is in the EU Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 8:40
  • You know what? I completely missed the " I'd like to take photos of the start of my journey " and only saw the "when I arrive " ! embarrassed_face
    – AakashM
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 8:42
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    This article in the Irish Times says it's legal to take photos of people or anything you like in a public place. I'd like to see a reference for any of your claims.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 12:45
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    I think the chances of someone's holiday snaps being hauled up under GDPR are so slim as to not be worthy of consideration. I'd be far more concerned about whether airport security consider your actions worthy of a quiet word.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 17:08

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