Laws in Singapore governing photography in public!

Mar 12, 2011
Can some one shed some light on Singapore law of photographing in public! Like what to avoid, what can be done etc! Can we photograph people without there consent if they are in public places and can it be published etc etc!

I googled a lot but couldn't find a comprehensive article on this!

Thanks in advance

Mar 12, 2011
SO no one knows any laws here ha? All just goes snapping around. Or are u just not interested in helping? Atleast tell me where to get help from!


Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
There are NO Photographer SPECIFIC laws in Singapore as there are no laws SPECIFICALLY governing Talking to Strangers in Public and Use of optical equiptment .... these are normally covered under BROADER guidelines and laws

Yes we just go snapping around .... at least I have been for the last 30+ years (without a copy of the Constitution in my back pocket)

And yes too, seems like many are not interested in helping because this subject comes up every couple of weeks.

Photographing in public - SO MANY situations can occur...... you'll need parliament to pass an Act several thousand pages thick just so photographres know what they can and cannot shoot in public ? Look at OTHER side of the coin far, it is not illegal to take photos in public ......... there is NO LAW that says you cannot take photographs in public. ( unless the building/location has No Photography notices which are to be respected) ....... THATS ALL, work with this knowledge .! Photographers who make a living taking photos in public (eg those who shoot for news agencies, newspapers etc etc) in Singapore work with this knowledge too.

Yes MANY people do not like their photos taken in public by strangers like you and me...... BUT that is a personal matter and a decision you and me will choose to respect or not respect ...... still it is NOT illegal to take photos in public.

Whats the WORST penalty ? Jail/Fine/Caning/Hanging? At worst you'll be asked to delete your images or get whacked physically ..... if you get assulted, now the assailant has broken the law and you call in the police.

It is still not illegal to take photos in public..... just that you or me just pissed someone off enough to get whacked. Even with a law in place, some unhappy person is still going to throw the law to one side and attack or assult you or me.

If one does not have the aptitude or is paranoid about shooting in public, do not look for laws to cover yourself.
Cant point you to help more but below are just some discussionsÂ’-Rights.?highlight=photographer+rights

Last edited:
Mar 12, 2011
Thank you very much, that was quite an ordeal. But hey look at the bright side, you have helped me and I am happy that you did! I am a foreigner and on a visit in Singapore. Last week I happened to be at at Marina bay and there was some photo shoot with a model. And Locals were all around them snapping with compacts. I so happened to have my SLR with me and Framed the whole gang of public and the shoot and started to click (It was a good shot, but alas!)! Voila, the photographer doing the model shoot was a lady and came rushing at me and started to rant loud! I remember hearing "You don't have the authority to shoot people without permission in the public, You have to delete it immediately or I will resort to the police! How dare you take the picture, you don't know how strict it is here in Singapore" etc etc and all sort of things! I being embarrassed before all the other people with cameras, deleted the pic and showed it her quietly and walked off and took a cab and flew home ASAP!

Yes I am now paranoid to shoot here in public as I don't know of any laws that could potentially put me into trouble as I don't want to get in trouble away from my home country. I could have lived with just the links, but thank you for the advanced warnings! Singapore is very different from where I come from, I don't usually see "Trespassers will be shot at" sign hanging on to the sidewalls of a telecom building (Tampines Singtel). I know laws are different everywhere. And its not quite uncommon to have different laws at different corners of the world. We too don't carry million page copy of the constitution when you drive or photograph in my country. We know some laws, others we just happen to read somewhere or even got told by others who know! But most of the time we have to ask to know! Sorry for wasting your time! Hope the few days I have left here goes without major incidents like the one i explained before!


Mar 12, 2011
One more thing, so there are no laws on publishing photos taken at public place online?

Dec 23, 2007
There is no so call personal privacy act nor general data protection in public. Not like US where you got privacy act 1974. As long as images taken from a public location.


Senior Member
Aug 17, 2007
got laws governing photography!!! cannot take upskirts!! haha
tis one confirm go jail!

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