Grandmother faces fines for photos on Facebook

A court ruling in the Netherlands has sparked a wave of questions because it has set a precedent in the EU’s General Data Protection (GDPR) enforcement.

A grandmother who posted pictures of her three minor grandchildren on social media has been sued by their mother after refusing to delete the images, the BBC reports.

The pictures were posted on Facebook and Pinterest. In February 2020, the grandmother received a letter mentioning the requests made through the police to delete the photos of her grandchildren from Facebook with the deadline of 5th of March 2020. The deadline was not met, therefore the mother went further and filed a complaint in the court.

Recital 18 of the GDPR says that the law does not apply to personal or household activities including correspondence, social networking and other online activities. However, the Dutch judge concluded that the personal post on Facebook was addressed to a large audience, and therefore it is a public space.

As a result of the preliminary hearing, the grandmother was required to delete all the pictures within 10 days or be sanctioned with a 50 Euros fine for each day of delay (up to maximum 1000 euros).

This precedent signals an alarm regarding personal activity in the public space and consent. It definitely raises more questions than answers.

Parents and grandparents need to be careful about what they post on the social media. Previously, an Austrian teenager sued her parents for posting pictures of her on Facebook as a child.

Need more information of how GDPR is applied? Check Sovy’s Knowledge Portal to find out more.