Do you have the right to privacy on a train?

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  • Prof Robert Winston has drawn criticism on social media after he tweeted a series of photographs of a woman he said was speaking loudly near him on a train.

    While some online expressed their similar annoyance at poor behaviour on public transport, others accused Prof Winston of "bullying" and "shaming" the woman, and raised issues over passenger privacy.

    The since-deleted images showed the woman having a conversation on her phone during a journey from London to Manchester.

    I like Robert Winston, but I think he has made a bad error of judgement here, but I do not call his behaviour bullying.


    You should not post pictures of someone without their permission, but should you expect privacy from being photographed in a public place such as a train?


    The other issue, of course, is what irritated Robert Winston to begin. If someone is talking loudly on a train, what do you do? Ask them to tone it down risking potential abuse and even assault (this does happen in London) or should you expect to put up with other people's loud telephone calls, it is public transport after all?

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