Photography and privacy

A discussion on the ethics of photography with specific respect to privacy. Some links to current discussion elsewhere on the subject are also provided.

I’ve been following various discussions related to publishing photographs and the right to privacy of the subjects in the pictures. Partly of followed them because of my work and how the pictures that rescue (fire) departments take may be quite a breach in privacy.

In part the inspiration for this post has come from an article (via Kari Haakana) in Poynter and the reasons (via MeFi) why the New York times published the selected front-page picture of some of the child victims of the tsunami. While the reasons why the press wants to and can publish certain images differs in some cases from personal publishing, the basic ethical principles are the same and the same laws apply. While I will discuss the matters with respect to my understaning of applicable Finnish law, I feel that the principles are applicable in other parts of the world as well.

On tornados

Finland has been safe from natural disasters. Not anymore, last August we had a tornado in Finland. Something odd and surprising. And terrifying.

Finland has been safe from natural disasters for a long time. We don’t have any strong earthquakes (some tremors that seismologists register but are rarely felt), any volcanoes, or any other sort of strong natural phenomena. Of course we’ve had our fair share of strong winds and thunderstorms, but even then the wind speeds rarely reach gale force. In the last few years things have begun changing though.

I started writing this entry before the events on boxing day. Or the exceptional winter stroms Southern Finland and the rest of the Baltic countries have been experiencing. Lately nature has been reminding us of its power.

Monte Carlo firefighting

Some thoughts on manpower problems that fire departments in small towns face.

I know I’m making a bit of a gamble here with the title. After all, the category is rescue and the gist of the title comes from Computer Science, algorithm design and analysis to be more precise. The two fields couldn’t be much further apart…

FireHouse.com had an article yesterday on how small towns that rely on volunteers or oncall firefighters have problems in getting enough personnel to respond to calls, especially during the daytime. It is nice to notice that the same problems plague the States as Finland in this respect.