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Glow wristbands: Clubs implement safeguards on photography

By Hilary Kimuyu September 28th, 2023 2 min read

In the wake of Casa Vera Lounge’s recent hefty fine of Sh1.85 million for unauthorized sharing of a patron’s photo on their social media, several nightclubs and entertainment establishments have swiftly taken action to avoid facing similar consequences. They are now putting privacy at the forefront of their operations.

One notable example is Cavalli, located in Westlands, which has gone beyond notices about filming and photography inside their premises. They have introduced a novel approach by advising their clients to wear a ‘glow wristband’ at the entrance if they prefer not to be captured on camera.

“This wristband will signal your preference, and all individuals involved in filming or recording will respect your request and avoid capturing you on camera. If, by any chance, a picture or recording is unintentionally taken, it will be promptly deleted. Your privacy is our priority,” reads part of the notice displayed prominently at Cavalli’s entrance.

The establishment has also streamlined the process for patrons whose photos appear on Cavalli’s social media pages and wish to have them removed. They are instructed to fill out a form for this purpose.

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These proactive measures have been taken in response to three penalty notices issued by the Data Protection Commissioner to Data Controllers over their failure to respect Data Privacy Rights.

Casa Vera Lounge, situated along Ngong Road, was at the centre of the controversy when it was slapped with a hefty fine of Sh1.85 million for disregarding a partygoer’s consent and publishing their photograph without permission.

While the manager of Casa Vera could not provide further details about the specific incident mentioned by the Data Commissioner, he did assert that a disclaimer is prominently displayed at the restaurant’s entrance. This disclaimer warns patrons that any images or videos captured within may be used for commercial purposes.

The penalty issued to Casa Vera was grounded in Sections 62 and 63 of the Data Protection Act 2019.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) emphasized the importance of privacy rights, citing Article 31 of the Constitution, which safeguards individuals’ privacy rights and information relating to family or private affairs from unnecessary disclosure.

According to the ODPC statement, clubs do not have the right to post photos on social media without consent unless it can be proven that customers willingly posed for the photos.

In addition to Cavalli, establishments like Tribe Onyx Club, Texas Barbeque, and Quiver Lounge Kilimani have also taken steps to address patron privacy concerns. They have issued notices that imply consent when patrons enter their premises, stating that photos and videos may be used on websites and social media. Furthermore, they make it clear that customers should not expect compensation or file lawsuits for violations of the right of publicity, defamation, or copyright infringement.

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