Camera traps are non-invasive monitoring tools largely used to detect species presence or population dynamics. The use of camera traps for wildlife conservation purposes raises questions about privacy invasion when images of people are taken. Throughout the use of an online questionnaire survey, we assessed the degree of knowledge about social and legal implications derived from the deployment of camera traps. Our results revealed a consistent gap in term of knowledge about legal implications derived by the use of camera traps among respondents. Most of those who were aware of such legislation did not take specific actions to prevent legal consequences, probably to reduce the risk of theft or vandalism. Most respondents declared that images of people were unintentionally collected. Some of them stated that images which may violate privacy issues or showed nefarious activities were stored for internal processing or reported to local authorities. Our research thus confirmed that privacy invasion is a widely poorly treated issue in the wildlife conservation dimension. Furthermore, despite camera traps being used to improve conservation efforts, the detection of individuals engaged in private or illegal activities poses further complications in terms of pursuance of legal actions when an individual is identified by these images. So, appropriate guidelines for images analysis need to be designed, and subsequently followed. Lastly, adopting effective methods to protect cameras from the risk of theft and/or vandalism is of primary concern.
|Journal||European Journal of Wildlife Research|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Jun 2022|
- Camera traps
- Human rights
- Illegal activities
- Privacy invasion
- Wildlife monitoring