Can my ex-partner forward or disseminate the photographs I sent him when we were together? - Sagué Abogados penalistas
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Can my ex-partner forward or disseminate the photographs I sent him when we were together?

Can my ex-partner forward or disseminate the photographs I sent him when we were together?

With the increasingly widespread use of social networks, communication between all of us has increased enormously. It is an increasingly common practice, especially among young people, to send their own images (the famous “nudes or packs“) between partners, friends, acquaintances and not so acquaintances.

Well, the anonymity that characterizes social networks creates a false appearance of legality in the conduct of disseminating all types of content to other usersIn most cases, neither party has signed a data protection contract with the other, nor has it bound itself to a duty of secrecy with respect to the shared content.

However, with regard to images of sexual content or those that seriously violate the privacy of individuals, we must act with the utmost caution, since after the reform of our Penal Code of March 30, 2015, a new criminal type was introduced, art. 197.7, which states the following:

“Shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of three months to one year. or a fine of six to twelve months whoever, without the authorization of the person concerned, disseminates, discloses or transfers to third parties images or audiovisual recordings of that person obtained with his consent in a home or any other place out of the reach of the eyes of third parties, when the disclosure seriously undermines the personal privacy of that person”.

In this regard, it is extremely relevant to refer to the first Judgment that was pronounced regarding this type of conduct, the resolution issued by the Criminal Court No. 21 of Madrid, dated May 28, 2018, by virtue of which, sentenced the defendant for forwarding photographs of an intimate nature received with prior consent from his ex-partneras the author of a crime of discovery and disclosure of secrets to a penalty of six months fine with a daily fee of six euros.

The regulation of the aforementioned precept derived from the urgent need to respond to all those cases of suicide caused by the dissemination to third parties of images of sexual content by the ex-partner.

In the words of the Supreme Court,
“society cannot remain indifferent to the intentional dissemination of images connected to privacy and which, once incorporated into a social network, exponentially multiply the damage generated to the privacy of a person who conceived only one recipient for their vision”.

Therefore, a series of requirements were established that must be evaluated in order to consider the criminal nature of the conduct carried out:

  • There must be a prior consentIn other words, the image must have been obtained with the full consent of the person appearing in it, understanding that it may have been obtained “voluntarily by the victim, using any conventional means or an instant messaging program that operates through telematic networks”.
  • The image must seriously violate the personal intimacy of the person, understanding among others, the sexual sphere, since it is the hard core of intimacy.
  • The image must have been taken in any “place out of the reach of the gaze of third parties”.
  • The perpetrator of the crime is only the person who receives images of intimate content from the victim and transmits them to a third party in breach of trust. Therefore, third parties outside this relationship are excluded from the consideration of the author of the crime when they obtain the images by the “chained diffusion of images obtained from the uncontrolled propagation in telematic networks”.

The penalty may be aggravated when the victim is a minor, disabled or under special protection, when the perpetrator is or has been the victim’s partner or when the dissemination of the images is done for profit.

In short, we recommend that you before forwarding or disseminating any image that may violate the privacy of another person, stop for a moment and reflect on the serious criminal consequences that such conduct may entail.The dissemination of such information may cause irreparable damage to the image and privacy of the person concerned.