Use of personal Images

This information applies to anyone who attends a BU event or activity or who accesses BU premises, whether you are a member of the public, an invited guest of BU, a BU student or a member of BU staff.  BU obtains and uses images of individuals (which could be photographs or moving films) within BU and publicly in the following categories of materials:

  • Prospectuses and other university promotional materials
  • As part of an advert or advertisement feature (which includes possible use on outdoor media such as buses and billboards)
  • On our website, intranet, or the websites of our partners
  • In promotional videos created by the university
  • In non-university publications which our marketing team have approved and authorised.

Materials containing these images are likely to be viewed from outside the UK, including locations outside the European Economic Area.

This page explains how we manage the taking and use of these images in compliance with the data protection legislation.

When and how BU obtains images

We often take photographs or films at events that we host or activities that we ask people to attend, so that we can use them for marketing purposes. In addition, we sometimes take candid photographs of individuals on BU premises.  We also ask students to send us photographs of their activities on trips or placements, and BU staff will sometimes share photographs of staff or students which they think may be suitable for the uses set out above.

Events & activities

If you are attending one of our events or activities and you don't want your image to be used then you can usually opt out.  Just let the photographer and a member of our staff know. That way we will instruct our photographer not to take any images of you and to delete any images already taken.  You are also advised to take steps yourself to stay out of the shot, as you may appear in the background in error.  However for very large scale events, in particular graduation, we will not be able to prevent the taking and use of your image by our photographers: if you have any concerns about this, please contact us ahead of the event.

Photography on campus

Where we are taking photographs on campus, we will display banners or notices which notify those present in the relevant area that photography is taking place.  If you don’t want your image to be used or taken, just tell our photographer.  They will then avoid taking any images of you and/or delete any images already taken.

If any photographs we take in this way are of you individually or show you within a small group, we will usually speak to you after taking the photograph and ask you to sign a consent form to confirm whether you are happy for us to use the image as outlined above.

Pre-arranged photography

This applies if we collect your image as part of a specific activity focused on you, e.g. when interviewing you or asking you to take part in a photo-shoot which relates to you individually or a small group.  In these circumstances we will ask you to sign a consent form to confirm whether you are happy for us to use the image as outlined above, and we will only photograph you and keep your image where you have signed the form.

Photographs supplied by staff and students

If you provide BU staff with your own image, this will be taken as indicating your consent to use the image for the purposes above.  If you send us photographs or films which include anyone else, you will need to read the guidance at the end of this page.

Legal basis

Under the data protection legislation we need to provide information about the legal basis on which we process images (“processing” covers the taking, storage and use of your image for the purposes outlined above).

The legal basis for our processing of images is usually that this is necessary for legitimate interests pursued by BU, i.e. increasing awareness of BU’s activities and sharing information of interest to the public. By providing the information and guidance set out in this document, and ensuring that we use images in an appropriate way, we aim to ensure an appropriate balance between these BU interests and the privacy rights of the individuals.

However if we have asked you to sign a form to confirm your agreement to our use of your image, the legal basis for processing will be consent.

Storing your image

We will keep your image securely in our image library for a maximum of ten years with a view to using it for the purposes set out above, or for as long as we are continuing to actively use it in one of these ways.   On request we will delete your image from our records: please let us know on [email protected] if you wish to withdraw any consent you have given for use of your image or you object to our continued use or storage of it.

Images taken by third parties

The information above applies to BU’s use of images which are taken by or on behalf of BU or provided to BU for our use.  Please note that BU may not be able to restrict or prevent the taking and use of images by third parties who are present at our events or activities or on our premises, but who are not taking images on behalf of BU.  You can let us know if you have concerns about photography by third parties and we may be able to help you approach the third party about your concerns.  However it is likely that any formal action to prevent use of your image by a third party will need to be taken by you.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any concerns about use of your image or wish to raise any objections in the future, you should contact the BU Design Team on [email protected] or BU’s Data Protection Officer at [email protected].

Information about other processing of your personal information by BU is provided in our privacy notices: General Enquiries and Events Privacy Notice (for members of the public or BU guests)
Student Privacy Notice.

Taking images at or for BU: Guidance for staff and students

For the purposes described above, we sometimes use images which were taken by BU academic staff or students.  Staff may take images to support teaching and learning activity and then share them with our marketing and communications staff.  Students are often asked to take and share pictures of their activities on trips or work placements, so that they can be used in BU materials about the student experience. 

Images of yourself

If you share an image of yourself, this will be taken as indicating your permission to use the image for the purposes above. 

Other content

Following these guidelines will help us ensure that we handle these images in accordance with the data protection legislation and other legal obligations:

  • Do not take send us images which contain any confidential information (e.g. commercially sensitive information about your work on a placement)
  • If you are abroad, be cautious about taking pictures of certain locations or people depending on the cultural context and the political situation in the country. For example, in some countries it may not be acceptable to take pictures of or inside churches or other religious sites or to take pictures of women.  In some countries, you should be very cautious about taking pictures of military or police personnel or locations such as airfields or government buildings
  • If other people appear in the picture:
    • You should not send it to us if they have expressed any objection to being photographed;
    • If possible you should let them know that you are taking the image, that you may send it to BU and where they can find information about how we might use the image.  You can direct them to this page on the BU website.  Before going on a trip or placement you can ask the BU Design Team ([email protected]) for a supply of small cards which contain the Design Team’s contact details and the address of this web page: if practicable, these can be handed over to individuals whose image you are taking.