Selfie OK, but privacy first—priest

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MANILA, September 9, 2014—A priest calls on persons who enjoy taking “selfies” and similar photographs a little too much to always respect the privacy of others.

While Fr. Lito Jopson, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media (CBCP-ECSC), admits that taking selfies may be fun, the priest underscores the importance of responsibility when involving others in photographs.

Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon takes a selfie, which quickly went viral, with Pope Francis during his recent visit to South Korea for the Asian Youth Day and the beatification of the Korean martyrs. (Photo: Bishop Joel Baylon)

“Taking selfies are fun in general because we can be the photographer and photographed at the same time. Long before selfies, it was hardy possible to take one’s pictures with oneself and others as subject. Now the technology allows that to happen, but it comes with responsibility,” he explained over Church-run Radyo Veritas.

Jopson reminds “selfie-takers” of the ethical guidelines they must observe in order to ensure that the rights of the people they want to photograph are respected.

According to him, selfie takers must be granted permission by the other party, especially when the photographs are intended for public consumption.

Meanwhile, some members of the Lower House are thumbing down House Bill 4807, or the “Protection against Personal Intrusion”, better known as the “Anti-selfie Bill”.

They believe the proposed law infringes on the rights of people to “decide for themselves”. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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