- Q. Is explicit consent needed from people inadvertently caught on camera, for example passers-by?
A. Generally not but it depends where you are filming. If filming in a public place, for example the street, it is unlikely you will need to seek the consent of passers-by. The only circumstances where consent would be required is if the actions or words of the person filmed indicate they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In semi-public places (shops, malls, bars) similar considerations apply. In locations where people have a greater expectation of privacy (hospital wards, doctors' waiting rooms, police stations) consent may well be advisable and even necessary. If in doubt, seek advice from the programme lawyer.
- Q. Can I record telephone conversations?
A. Programme-makers may record telephone calls, without telling the person they are speaking to, for research or evidential purposes. However, if the call is being recorded with a view to it being broadcast, then special rules apply. If you intend to include the recording within a programme you should tell the person you are speaking to at the start of the call that you are recording it with the intention of including it within a broadcast television programme. You should give sufficient information for them to be able to make an informed choice about whether they wish to continue with the call. In these circumstances, always seek advice from your programme lawyer. If you record a telephone conversation covertly with the intention of including it in a broadcast programme, then this will constitute secret filming and you must comply with Channel 4's 'Secret Filming Guidelines'. See 'Surreptitious or Secret Filming'.
- Q. What does the public interest mean?
A. See 'Fairness FAQ's'