Photography, video and audio recording at Scout events

When we showcase scouting it increases engagement with current members and more importantly, potential members and donors. With a few simple guidelines your photography, video and audio (collectively digital assets), of scout activities and events will ensure you protect others while creating content to promote scouting.

Managing personal data

Photography, video and audio is considered personal data (when the individual in it is identifiable), so as with all data, you need to consider how it is managed. Scout members understand the need to share the positive benefits of scouting to other members and the public.

This guidance breaks down to draw focus in 3 key areas

  1. Informing and gaining permission
  2. Point of capture
  3. Managing digital assets

Informing and gaining permission

It’s best to plan in advance before capturing photography, video and audio. The most important element of this guidance is ensuring the individuals are well informed in advance of the capture and have an opportunity to express their wishes. On occasion, individuals or parents will have good reason to request photos, video or audio are not shared.

It is important to understand what content you have and for what event so you are able to satisfy such requests. You can inform members of your intentions and request their consent at the same time as other data is collected as part of an attendance form for an event or activity. For members under 18 this will need to involve a parent or guardian. This consent should be as granular as possible so as to inform the individual of potential uses of the digital assets and so they can choose what they are happy with. This could include check boxes for the following:

  • Scout Group / District / County / Region online news
  • Scout Group / District / County / Region websites
  • Scout Group / District / County / Region newsletters
  • Scout Group / District / County / Region social media channels
  • Scout Group / District / County / Region advertising and / or promotional material

Legitimate interest

On occasion it is not practical or even possible to have gained formal consent from every individual who may feature in photography, video and audio. An example situation could be large-scale event where the volume of attendees is high, and the event is spread over a large area. It is a reasonable expectation that photography, video and audio will be captured at an event like this and that the digital assets will have minimal impact on the individuals in question. In these situations, it is important to at least inform individuals of your intentions with regards to photography, video and audio at the point of entry or around the event area, this can be as visual signage or literature handed out around or even before the event.

Informing people of your intention lets them know that you have a legitimate interest to create digital assets and provides the opportunity for people to express their wishes.

Advertising, marketing or media coverage

When digital assets may be used for a very public purpose, such as  specific marketing or an editorial, an overarching release form will ensure that consent is captured for digital assets of an individual and is the ideal solution for advertising, marketing and media coverage.

A release form is not a legal requirement, as the copyright of an image belongs to the photographer and not the subject, nevertheless, it is considered best practice and is a good way to prove consent for managing personal data. A written log and evidence of consent is preferable but if this isn’t practical, a log of their name, date and what it was for, as a verbal consent is sufficient. In most cases this will be provided directly by the professional capturing the digital assets, however if this is something you are doing locally the template consent form can be used as a guide from here.

Media coverage

Scouting needs publicity and a picture is worth a thousand words. A newspaper photographer attending a Scout event will usually request that the imagery they capture is accompanied by the names of the individuals in the photographs. It is important that consent is obtained by them using a release form in advance in order to avoid any confusion or disappointment. It is acceptable to give full names and age to external media companies its justifiable and appropriate but never provide the full address of the young person. For group photos, ask the media company to use a collective term such as “Cub Scouts from the 6th Anywhere Scout Group”. It can be appropriate to give the location of a Group meeting place (street name etc), however if you give a telephone number make sure the person whose number you are giving out is happy for the number to be published. Photographs taken by press photographers that invades personal privacy are subject to the normal Independent Press Standards Organisation Code of Practice. 

Seeking young people’s permission

When creating content your photographer, video maker or sound recordist should ask for the young person’s permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image will be used. This does not need to be a formal permission form, an informal verbal agreement that explains what the photo will be of and how it will be used is sufficient and is in addition to consent already given.

Point of capture

Administering consent

If you have a set of members at a large event who have requested that their personal data is not shared through photo, video or audio content then you need to look for a suitable way to remove them from the content you create. You could add a note to an event lanyard, pass or name badge to identify them to content creators or request their photo to help you identify them.

Safeguarding young people

There have been concerns about the risks to children and young people when their images are used online (including on social networking sites and YouTube etc) and in publications by following a few simple guidelines (based upon those suggested by the NSPCC) you will reduce the potential for concern.

  • Avoid using both the name and the photograph of a young person in a printed publication, social media or on a website.
  • Seek parental permission (see above)
  • Only allow photographs to be taken of suitably dressed subjects and in appropriate situations
  • Follow Young People First (the Yellow Card) at all times

Managing digital assets

Capturing, editing and storage

Under the GDPR you need a process that helps you find and delete personal data at a later date. When you capture content, find a way to link your content with an individual. Use a simple name board in front of the lens or record a short message to assist you. Label your content with the activity/event, date and location to help provide a reference. Labelling can be achieved via file metadata or by renaming the file and folders. Store a copy of your permission form with consent paragraph, or your release form (for advertising, marketing or media coverage) in the same place as the related photo, video and audio content. Once you have labelled your consented content, ensure you dispose of any remaining materials. In addition, the following should be used as a guide:

  • Photography, videos and audio of no use should be removed at source or in any copies when not needed.
  • The use of cloud services are ok for storage. Use a reputable provider with guaranteed storage in the UK or EEA
  • You need the ability to add metadata to the imagery or organise them so you can capture, names, event names, dates, consent evidence
  • Password protected (with strong passwords, minimum of 8 characters, with some complexity)
  • Use photographic devices that are under the control of the person who gained the consent and manages the images where possible

Existing content

Undertake an audit of your existing content to ensure it is labelled with event details including a date and location. If you have relevant and existing personal consent for photos, video and audio, store this data alongside relevant content and store your content using the advice above. If anyone requests you to delete content, ask them for details of any events/activities they took part in, and request a photo that will help you identify them, then delete their personal data.

Scout Shows

In addition to the guidance given above, in the case of Scout Shows and similar performances the potential copyright implications of recording and copying music and other material should be considered.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls