By Frank Hutchison
Can I legally post pictures of guests on my Facebook Business page without written waiver?  Can a verbal be OK? 
This question has two answers – Yes and Maybe.
Yes, you can post pictures of guests on Facebook or elsewhere if the pictures are:
  • Taken in a public forum – if pictures are taken in public, the assumption is that being in public gives license to be photographed.
  • The people in the photograph (or their guardians for minors) have given their permission – which can be in writing or verbal.
Maybe you should and maybe you shouldn’t – it depends on the relationship you have with your guests.  Will people get upset if you post their photograph?  If they are, then you might not want to (unless you like having angry clients).
Of course there are a lot of reasons why someone might not want their picture taken and posted.  There’s a story I heard of a professional golfer who never wanted his picture taken – going so far as to take and smash cameras (he’d pay for the camera.)  But someone eventually did take his picture and it was published – and it was discovered that he was a wanted felon.
It is always a good policy to only act in good taste – but then the definition of good taste is subject to wide interpretation.
The one real caveat that I would warn you about is never, NEVER imply, hint, or suggest there is an endorsement for your goods or services simply because you photograph someone at your event or place of business – that will get you in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.

A physicist by trade, author by choice, a born teacher, a retired veteran, and an adamant problem solver, Frank has helped the White House, federal agencies, military offices, historical museums, manufacturers, and over 250 technology startups get stuff done, communicate effectively, and find practical solutions that work for them. In his spare time, he makes sawdust and watches Godzilla movies.