Woman Attacks Camera Man on Camelback

Cholla Trail Landmark - Camelback Mountain by Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale

Cholla Trail Landmark – Camelback Mountain by Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale

Last week Pete Kosednar was hiking on Camelback Mountain when he saw a woman on the trail who didn’t have her dog on a leash. He turned on his video camera and asked her is she knew that her dog was supposed to be leashed. She didn’t appreciate being filmed and reacted by swearing at him and hitting him. Check out the video for yourself.

Was Pete Kosednar wrong to film this woman? No! She was in a public place where she had no expectation of privacy. As long as he wasn’t filming her to commercialize her image or filming her in a way that constituted any type of harassment, there’s nothing she could do to stop him from filming her. And now the video is on YouTube where everyone can see her behaving badly.

I understand that privacy is a hot-button topic for a lot of people. It is for me. However, you have no expectation of privacy for anything you do in view of the public so there’s nothing you can do to stop someone from filming you in most situations. Pete could probably strap a video camera to his head and tape most of his day-to-day activities without risk of penalty.

There are some places where you can expect to not be filmed like public bathrooms, tanning beds,  locker rooms, and retail businesses that don’t allow you to take pictures or shoot video in the store. This woman was on Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain. There are no special restrictions on shooting photos on video there.

It also amuses me when people make a scene about being filmed in public. We have surveillance cameras everywhere – in the stores and shopping centers, on courthouses, monitoring freeway traffic, etc. It’s funny when people accept those cameras as a part of every day life but freak out when someone turns on the camera in their phone when they’re standing on the sidewalk or in a public park.

The take-away lesson here is if you’re going to behave badly in public, whether you’re breaking the law, violating a social norm, or making an ass of yourself, don’t be surprised when you find out that someone videotaped it and posted it online.

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Hat tips to Phoenix New Times for running the story and Jeff Moriarty for telling me about it.

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Comments

  1. Casual Reader says:

    Wow! I am astonished that a law firm would post such a petty and insulting video of a random person. I thought the members of the Arizona Bar were held to a high standard. Carter Law Firm is a really vile organization that I will make sure to trash talk in the future. I’ve hiked on Camelback and if any piece of X law firm posted a video of me hiking to mock my reaction I would give them a call immediately.

    Whose idea was this? I’ll be posting to the r/Arizona subreddit so more people can see your shameful behavior.

    • It’s a really interest contrast between social privacy issue and legal issue. I find it very interesting that most people don’t object to being on camera when they’re in fixed positions where they barely notice them (i.e. security cameras in shopping centers) but they get really offended when they see a camera in someone’s hand. For years I’ve told people not to do post anything online that they wouldn’t put on the front page of the newspaper. The same can be said about anything you willingly do in plain view in public.

  2. Casual Reader says:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/phoenix/comments/11b35y/woman_had_no_expectation_of_privacy_when_hiking/

    Here, we are all making negative comments about Carter Law Firm in this forum. Please join us.

  3. If she made a claim that she felt threatened because some guy was filming her without our permission in the middle of nowhere and was perhaps stalking her, I couldn’t really blame her. If I was walking on a mountain in the middle of nowhere and some guy approached me with a camera and was acting hostile, I might do the same thing.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You bring up an interesting idea about whether a reasonable person would feel threatened by someone unexpectedly asking a question while holding a video camera. I think an argument like that would rely heavily on the facts of the situation.

  4. Wow. I would tend to side with the hiker with the dog on this one. How incredibly rude and rediculous for a man to approach someone like that. I would be incredibly offended as well and might feel threatened. Is it just me or do other see this the same way?

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would have been more sympathetic to her if she told the guy to mind his own business and kept walking. I don’t think the two people were that close to each other until the woman approached the man. Of course we don’t know if they had any conversation before he started filming so she may have been more provoked that it seemed. If the video is the whole picture, she initiated physical contact with and threatened him more than he threatened her.

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