Privacy can't be expected in public places
We come to Hawaii about five or six times a year. Lately, we keep seeing men walking Waikiki Beach, the Kuhio Beach area, with cameras, taking pictures of tourists, some not so flattering, like of their posteriors and upper part of the female anatomy. On Easter Sunday, we saw a couple of girls in bikinis who yelled at a man who was taking pictures of them. They chased him and he ran. Is there any law against people taking pictures of anybody on the beach? We would feel very uncomfortable if we would have pictures taken.
Answer: Generally, if you're out in a public place, such as the beach, there are no privacy or other laws that prevent another person from taking photos of you, said Gerald Kato, chairman of the University of Hawaii School of Communications and a specialist in First Amendment issues.
Under current laws, photographing or filming someone in a public place doesn't constitute an invasion of privacy, he said.
There are laws against harassment, but he said that doesn't sound like the case here.
If the photographers were covertly trying to take a photo of someone's intimate area, that's another matter.
In 2003, Hawaii adopted a video voyeurism law, which makes it a misdemeanor for someone to intentionally and covertly record or broadcast "an image of another person's intimate area underneath clothing, by use of any device, and such image is taken while that person is in a public place and without that person's consent."
That law was passed to close a loophole in the previous law, which made it a crime only if the cameras used were installed in private places, such as bathrooms.
Under the old law, a Pearl City man who had been charged with using a small, concealed camera to take pictures up the skirts of women riding escalators at Ala Moana Center could not be convicted.
A big concern these days is cell phone cameras being used to surreptitiously take photos of unsuspecting people.
To the city's maintenance crew for responding to my call to pick up the dead cats that were on Makakilo Drive, hit by motorists. The last call was on April 20 and they took action right away. -- No Name
To the Kailua Fire Station for their quick response to an emergency at our condo on April 21. My wife passed out in our upstairs bathroom. The upstairs can only be reached via a spiral staircase. Our neighbor, Charlie Honsberger, called 911 and sent his wife, Phyllis (a registered nurse), to help us while we awaited the fire and emergency medical personnel. They arrived in about five minutes. After administering first aid, they quickly resolved the stairway problem by removing the doors connecting to the main house and moving my wife to Castle Hospital. Our thanks to all who helped in our time of need. The true Aloha spirit lives in Kailua. -- Elaine and Charlie Agnew/Niceville, Fla.
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