Can companies publish employee photos on the company website without an employee’s prior consent?
Legal Shark’s Response |
In today’s social media world, scores of employees may already have their pictures posted on the Internet on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Many employees would not object to having their pictures posted on a company website but employers cannot make this assumption.
Some folks may be “camera shy” or have more serious concerns regarding their privacy and the ability of others to locate them online. Privacy legislation requires an employer to seek consent prior to posting photos of employees online.
More specifically, provincial privacy legislation in the form of the Personal Information Protection Act along with federal legislation exists which restricts and regulates the collection, use, disclosure, storage and security of personal information.
Any photos identifying an employee would be considered “personal information” which employers are prevented from using or disclosing without “explicit or implied consent.”
Employers are required to take the proactive step of having their employees sign a Consent Form with respect to the use of employee photographs. The form should outline the purposes for which the employer will use the photographs and how those photographs may be used by the company.
Utilizing written consent forms provides employees with appropriate information about how their personal likeness will be utilized by their employer and provides employers with a measure of protection from any possible future privacy complaints. A true “win-win” from the Shark’s perspective.