Camera/recording policy for Sitters

TH has a very detailed camera/recording policy for HOs to follow to protect sitters’ privacy. What about the reverse? Is there a guideline or policy to protect HO privacy from potential visual recording (photos or video) by the sitter? I searched but didn’t find anything.

Hello @pdxgal,
TrustedHousesitters doesn’t have an official policy per se, but we do ask that sitters obtain permission from the homeowners before posting any photos of pets or home. As you know, so many ask for pictures and updates while traveling - it would be difficult to require that no photos are taken.

Thanks, good to know. I’m fine with sitters taking photos of the pets to send to me, or to use for their own TH profiles to show pets they’ve taken care of. What I’m not OK with is sitters posting pics of my pet or home on their personal social media accounts or websites. I think I’ll add some language to my Welcome Guide to emphasize that.

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Good plan. As I always say, never too much communication (unless your my mother in law) :rofl:

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It’s definitely something that should be discussed at the interview stage and perhaps written on your welcome guide.

Hi @pdxgal I have a conversation with owners about photos. Sometimes it’s on a video call, other times it’s at the home; either way it’s always before they travel. I explain that when I take photos of the pets indoors, I try to have the pet as the main focus, with minimal view of the home itself. Of course I can also crop the photos to accomplish that.

I do use these photos to send to the homeowner, but also ask to use them for my blog. In my 7+ years of sitting, so far every owner has agreed. I also then add a disclaimer in the blog to show that I have the permission of the owners to post those photos and that all content is copyrighted.

I choose not to use photos of any pets I’ve sat in my THS profile, but I know many sitters do. That’s just a personal preference.

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Hi @pdxgal - Can I ask why you do not approve of sitters sharing pictures of your pets on their own social media? We always do this on our Facebook and blog to show our friends and family what fantastic pets we are getting to meet.
We always ask permission from the home hosts but really out of politeness, none have ever said no. - I have to admit I would be really surprised if they had any objection.

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The thing with social media is you don’t know who will see what you post, what they may do with it, and how it could get associated with other data. Artificial intelligence and mapping tools are able to use images and data in ways that may produce unintended consequences. If a sitter is a diligent as @Snowbird about cropping photos appropriately and not sharing personally identifiable data it’s probably not going to adversely affect me as a HO. But I doubt all sitters will be so careful.

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