As a photographer, you deal with all sorts of difficult situations. One is when people do not want you to take pictures.
Sometimes this happens at family gatherings. I find this hard to deal with – first, because it is such a central part of what I do. “No pictures!” to me is like saying “don’t discuss art” to a sculptor, or “don’t look beautiful” to a model, or “no perfumes allowed” to someone who has just spent $100 on nice perfume. Second, I find it irrational. Like “don’t look at me. You are stealing my soul”. Wear a veil, already! By taking photos of family gathering I do not steal anyone’s soul. Third, it is inconsiderate to all the others present, who do want photos of the event.
But yes, in a private setting, people totally have the right to say “no photos”. As a reasonable photographer, when that happens, I stop taking pictures, of course. Just don’t expect me to go back there: I have better things to do.
In the street, things are different. In English-speaking Canada, as well as in the US, if you are in a public area, you have the right to take pictures of anything and anyone you like (although there are exceptions like military installations).
But in the street, while you have the right to take pictures, things are not that simple there, either.
Typically, when anyone asks me to stop taking pictures in the street, I will. But not always.
You can get nice snaps in the street, and no souls are lost in the process.