Think Before You Click: Hefty Fine for Taking Someone’s Photo Without Consent

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Beware of getting fines for invading someone’s privacy.

The UAE Federal Public Prosecution has taken steps to remind residents and reinforce the country’s cybercrime law. They have stressed on the importance of the protection of privacy and the severe consequences for the invasion of privacy in the UAE.

According to Article 21 of the Federal Decree Law No. 5 of 2021 on Combatting Cybercrimes, those who use any means of information technology for the invasion of privacy of another will be punished by imprisonment of at least six months and a fine of not less than AED 150,000 and not exceeding AED 500,000, or either of the two penalties.

Invasion of privacy was broadly defined as including but not limited to:

Taking pictures of people without their consent or creating, transferring, disclosing, copying, or saving their photos

Interception, recording, eavesdropping, transferring, transmitting or disclosure of conversations or communications, or audio or visual materials

Publishing news, electronic photos or photographs, scenes, comments, statements, or information, even if they are true and correct

In addition, a harsher punishment of at least one-year imprisonment and a fine of not less than AED 250,000 and not in excess of AED 500,000 or either of these two penalties apply to those who use any means of information technology (record, photo, scene, etc.) for the purpose of defamation or offending/humiliating another person.

The social media campaign by the UAE Federal Public Prosecution reminds residents of the country’s efforts in combatting cybercrimes and protecting its residents.