Greitens case could test the definition of ‘privacy’ in the smartphone era
In 1994, officials in Buffalo, Mo., made a discovery that sent shock waves through the tiny town: The owner of a local tanning salon had hidden a camera in the latticework above a dressing area, and had videotaped more than 100 women and girls in various states of nudity.
Then came the aftershock: Authorities initially said they couldn’t charge the man with any crime. There was nothing on Missouri’s books specifically prohibiting what he had done.
That scandal helped create the law under which Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday. Because of the tanning salon case and others, it has been illegal in Missouri for more than 20 years to take a person’s photo without permission when that person is in a state of undress in a place where there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” If that picture is transmitted to a computer, it goes from misdemeanor to felony.
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