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to refuse to have my photo on the intranet at work?

(190 Posts)
wowfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 15:59:45

I've received an email today which says the company I work for is setting up an intranet page for HQ (where I work) which will have everyone's name, job role and contact details on it and we are to provide a suitable photo to go on there. The purpose is so that those people in the wider company who have dealings with us can put a face to a name. We've been given a deadline to comply with this.

I am really not comfortable with this as I don't really know why anyone I only deal with over the phone or by email gives a monkeys what I look like or what difference it makes. When employees from around the company visit here, they tend to seek out the people they deal with and introduce themselves. I also have concerns that someone could use my photo for some other purpose without my knowledge. Plus I am not confident about my looks at the moment and don't want my fat face on there for all to see.

What do you think MNetters? Does anyone in HR know what my rights are on this? I feel pressurised to do something I don't want to do and would like to know how to deal with it.

PiperRose Tue 11-Mar-14 16:09:20

I don't really understand your issue with this as it's the intranet rather than the internet. You mention that other people could use your photo without permission but what are you fearful it would be used for, and by who? Maybe you could ask your company about how they are going to protect your data?

101handbags Tue 11-Mar-14 16:09:48

This has recently happened in my company too and everyone was told they had the right not to have their photo on there. I didn't want one mine up there, neither did most of my colleagues. I am sure they can't force you.

PiperRose Tue 11-Mar-14 16:10:46

I take it your company doesn't use ID badges?

CountessOfRule Tue 11-Mar-14 16:10:52

At a previous company a colleague had similar reservations (would have been on intranet and website) so she simply said no. There was some eye rolling within management I think but they respected her decision.

PiperRose Tue 11-Mar-14 16:12:33

I can (sort of) understand if it was going on the internet but a company's intranet site is just like an internal

Goblinchild Tue 11-Mar-14 16:13:03

I hate it, but it's not my generation and I'm far less comfortable with all the photography that my children are fine with.
At my place of work, you didn't have a choice, you were on the intranet and on the internet. If you tried to dodge, then the secretary would stalk you until she had a shot.

gretagrape Tue 11-Mar-14 16:18:26

I refused to do it and my manager brought it up in my appraisal! If that's all he felt he could pick on then I assumed I was actually doing ok, so I ignored him and continued to refuse.

jinglebellsarecoming Tue 11-Mar-14 16:19:25

It will depend on your contract and policies. You could use data protection of your visual image if you can argue it is sensitive eg identifies your race or similar. But being honest the world is going digital. We have it in our contacts ( health charity) that you have to have your photo up - we will not employ people (unless linked to discrimination factors) who won't allow us to use their photo.

TheGreatHunt Tue 11-Mar-14 16:20:02


We do this at work and it makes life so much easier!!

wowfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 16:21:54

I think I will ask about how they propose to protect the data. Once it's on the intranet, someone in the company could easily copy it and use it somewhere else, e.g. on the company's internet site, etc. It's so easy to copy photos and images and use them wherever.

wowfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 16:24:16

jingle - you will not employ people who won't allow you to use their photo?! That sounds extreme to me.

PiperRose Tue 11-Mar-14 16:24:29

Can I ask why you don't want your photo 'out there'?

Bluegrass Tue 11-Mar-14 16:25:39

Our security photos are added to the internal address book. Some photos are missing though which is really annoying when I've arranged to meet them and don't know what the hell they look like. A face isn't a state secret, these same people can see you in real life too!

sheriffofnottingham Tue 11-Mar-14 16:25:50

I wouldn't say you are being unreasonable as I don't know the place you work in. I work in a very big organisation where I will work with colleagues from other offices and it's more than a little embarrassing when you turn up at a client for a meeting and don't recognise the person from your own organisation and you end up shaking hands and introducing yourself with both of you thinking you must work for the client. Having photos on the intranet / emails has really helped with stopping us looking like muppets in front of clients or worse the client having to introduce someone to you from your own firm.

Cleartheclutter Tue 11-Mar-14 16:28:46


We had a case at work where someone took a staff picture from the intranet and then changed it digitally to make it become a very nasty photo and then circulated it

FoxesRevenge Tue 11-Mar-14 16:32:07

We have our photos on a similar internal directory. We are encouraged to have our photos included in our profile but not forced to. I don't have mine on there.

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 11-Mar-14 16:33:18

I understand, but an outright no might be difficult. Ask about data protection and whether policies on it will be changed to refer explicitly to prohibiting photo misuse. Make sure you will be allowed an opt-out from use of the photo externally.

sheriffofnottingham Tue 11-Mar-14 16:33:33

cleartheclutter surely that's a disciplinary offence anyway?! access to the photo wasn't what triggered someone to behave like a total arsehole, surely they are just an arsehole and would have found another way to express it?

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 11-Mar-14 16:34:16

In the good old days before the WWW, when you applied for jobs, you had to send a photo 9 times out of 10. And your CV would be binned if you didn't. Did you send pics then? To complete and utter strangers? Not even knowing if you would be called for an interview?

It'll be people refusing to have their pics on a passport next......hmm

You sound like you work with some lovely mature individuals ClearTheClutter....

Plateofcrumbs Tue 11-Mar-14 16:34:59

If you were in my team at work I'd probably let you have your way but I'd think you were being a bit daft and over-sensitive.

It's really helpful to have photos on the intranet at work - helps a lot with people getting to know each other, making life easier for new joiners, avoiding those awkward 'I can't remember if I've met that person before' moments and so on.

I just don't think it's very team-spirited to put your own (petty) issues above the wider benefits for the organisation. We all have to put up with change we don't particularly like at work.

SimplyRedHead Tue 11-Mar-14 16:35:10

My colleage is deaf and relies heavily on the ID photos on the intranet because he can't hear people's names so can't remember them easily. It saves a lot of embarrassment.

It is also a great help for his many interpreters who can have a look at who will be in a meeting before having to go in and pretend they know who everyone is!

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 11-Mar-14 16:35:24

Photos are owned by the photographer anyway, aren't they? As far as data protection goes?

So anyone's pic on the intranet is probably owned by their partner/best friend/Grandad anyway.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Tue 11-Mar-14 16:35:54

Christ your firm is way behind the curve on this. Is this a new thread not zombie?

Wasn't opt out. Just uploaded security pass photos. You get in the building don't you? Use that.

FoxesRevenge Tue 11-Mar-14 16:40:07

On the subject of privacy I was livid when I found my name, location and job title of when I was doing a random google search on myself. I emailed them asking how they got my info and that I wanted it removing. I have a feeling my company may have supplied it. They have no right to publish such information without my consent. Can you imagine if I was trying to avoid an ex abusive partner or similar. They would know exactly where to find me. I'm not even in a high profile position where anyone would need to contact me, I'm a lowly administrator... bottom of the pile as far as this organisation is concerned.

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