We’re all guilty of it; wanting to see our favorite star shopping, grabbing a Starbucks or enjoying family time… at their expense.

Britney Spears has seemingly disappeared from the public eye in the last week, a rare opportunity for the singer.

Are Britney and her team going the extra mile to ensure Britney’s privacy from the paparazzi, or have the new anti-paparazzi laws, which went into effect on January 1, 2010, barred photogs from cashing in?

“The new California law makes it a crime to take and sell unauthorized photos of celebrities in ‘personal or familial activity,'” according to CNN, with a $50,000 fine imposed on violators.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed this bill in October, 2009, fining paparazzi for snapping photos that violate a celeb’s “right to privacy,” as well as media outlets such as magazines for purchasing the photos.

This means photos of Britney and her kids playing at the beach, similar to the ones captured by paparazzi agency X17 two weeks ago, are now prohibited.

Celebrity columnist Ben Widdicombe claims celebrities like Britney sometimes orchestrate photo-ops for their image, saying:

“Celebrities like Britney Spears, for example, are infamous in the industry for letting their assistants tell the paparazzi when they’ll be leaving the gates.”

But the difference is, photos like these ARE authorized.

One A-list force behind the anti-paparazzi laws aside from Schwarzenegger is actress Jennifer Aniston, who fell victim to the shutterbugs after being photographed ******* while sunbathing in her backyard.

“There have to be some boundaries,” said Aniston. “When you have children in the car and the photographers are rushing you, it’s just absolutely out of control. It’s become a public safety issue. Somebody’s going to die if we don’t do something.”

So has Britney gone out of her way to hide away during the holiday season? or are the new anti-paparazzi laws thoroughly protecting her?

No word on how the situation will play out, but it seems fans will see less of their beloved popstar in 2010.

And it looks like it’s for the best.

For more information on the subject, check out a post by Douglas Mirell on LOEB.com, or the LEGAL DOCUMENTS published by the government.

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