Are you thinking of doing street photography but wondering is street photography legal? Let's look at this question. Before digging in, please understand that this information is not legal counsel, nor should be treated as such. I am not a lawyer, I just love street photography.
So, is street photography legal or not?
Street photography is legal in most countries. But each country has it's own particular set of laws that you must follow. Here are some helpful links for you to read about the country you are in:
Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia (Lawsuit)
Photography and the law: Rights and restrictions (USA)
Photographer’s legal handbook (USA)
French privacy laws (France)
Korean photo law and you (Korea)
Photographer’s rights guide (UK)
UK Photographer’s rights (UK)
Photography laws (Canada)
Australian photography laws (Australia)
Unlawful photography in public spaces (New Zealand)
I am a street photographer, but all of that halted when I moved to Korea for a few years (I hop country to country). I wasn't much of a street photographer then. Why? Because of the “Right to face”, which means I could have been liable for a lawsuit if someone who was in my images decided to go that route. So I was focused heavily on doing street photography without humans present.
What to do before shooting
The best thing you can do for your street photography is to check the laws for your country. Check the links above and search for these technical terms: “[country] photography laws” and “[country] public photography” and results should pop about your area, including the snafus that happened.
Also, since you are interested in street photography, check out Inspired Eye Street Photography Magazine for monthly inspiration and video training.