Legally, the position of photography in a public space is clear-cut: there are no legal restrictions on taking a photograph of strangers in a public space. However, negative moral beliefs about street photography are developing out of public fears relating to personal identity, misrepresentation, paedophilia and terrorism.
The ethical issues associated with street photography primarily concern invasion of privacy; invasion in the form of intrusion; portraying subjects in a false light; embarrassment; and image appropriation. All these ethical issues intensify the debate between the subject’s right to privacy and a photographer’s right to freedom of expression.
Also relevant to the future of street photography and its ethics are the advent of social networking and online image-sharing, and concerns about identity and representation; the Millennial generation has new notions of public and private which may shape ethical behaviour and the law on photography in public places.