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Nativity play photos 'not illegal'

Parents should be free to photograph their children in nativity plays and challenge schools or councils that try to stop them under data protection laws, the Information Commissioner has said.

Christopher Graham said shots for the family album are exempt from the laws and parents and friends of children in plays should "stand ready to challenge any schools or councils that say 'Bah, Humbug' to a bit of festive fun".

"Armed with our guidance, parents should feel free to snap away this Christmas," he said.

"Having a child perform at a school play or a festive concert is a very proud moment for parents and is understandably a memory that many want to capture on camera.

"It is disappointing to hear that the myth that such photos are forbidden by the Data Protection Act still prevails in some schools.

"A common sense approach is needed - clearly, photographs simply taken for a family album are exempt from data protection laws."

Daniel Hamilton, campaign director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said the Information Commissioner's statement was "a real victory for common sense".

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