Mom, You Can’t Post Pictures of My Child—Because GDPR

A Dutch grandmother was busted for violating GDPR. Her daughter took Granny to court for posting photos of her child without permission.

Apparently, Mom got fed up of asking her mom to delete the pics from the internet. So a family feud ensued; because of course it did.

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But seriously, is this really what GDPR’s creators had in mind? And will we see similar situations with CCPA, etc.? In today’s SB Blogwatch, we thank Frige it’s Vrijdag.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Food is exhausting (and so is everything else).


What’s the craic? Aunty Beeb reports—“Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR”:

 A woman must delete photographs of her grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents’ permission, a court in the Netherlands has ruled.

The case went to court after the woman refused to delete photographs of her grandchildren which she had posted on social media. The mother of the children had asked several times for the pictures to be deleted.

The woman must remove the photos or pay a fine of €50 [$54] for every day that she fails to comply with the order, up to a maximum fine of €1,000 [$1,075]. … If she posts more images of the children in the future, she will be fined an extra €50 a day.

And Antigoni Logotheti fills in the blanks—“Rb. Gelderland – C/05/368427”:

 The Court of First Instance of Gelderland decided that the processing of personal data (photos) of the plaintiff’s minor children by their grandmother is unlawful and should be based on the legal representative’s consent.

The Dutch GDPR Implementation Act (Uitvoeringswet Algemene Verordening gegevensbescherming—UAVG) stipulates that the posting of photos of minors who have not yet reached the age of 16 requires their legal representative(s)’ consent.

On the other hand, Mike Masnick calls it “ridiculous”:

 We’ve talked for many years now about the overreach of the GDPR and how its concepts of “data protection” often conflict with both concepts of free expression and very common everyday activities. … While many EU data protections folks are saying this [ruling] was to be expected based on earlier [rulings], it doesn’t make the result any less ridiculous.

This is a very European view … an assumption that we should have “autonomy” over anything about ourselves – which, when judged against the harsh light of reality, seems incredibly silly. … The ability to use this as a tool of blatant censorship seems way too likely.

On both hands, Arnoud Engelfriet’s view is more nuanced (and found in translation)—“Oma moet van rechter foto’s kleinkinderen van social media verwijderen”:

 This is yet another verdict that will lead to many misunderstandings and old wives’ tales. … Anyone who concludes hard rules like “grandmas need permission for grandchild photos” is … wrong.

Article 5 … states that if permission is required, you must have parental permission [which] is emphatically different from saying that permission is required. … If you have a legally valid agreement with a minor that requires the processing of their personal data, parental consent … is not applicable.

Grandma could invoke a journalistic interest (“dissemination of facts, ideas and views”—not reserved for media organizations). But … I don’t see how publishing that photo is more important than the privacy of the child.

Although Cynical Pie sounds crustier: [You’re fired—Ed.]

 As someone who has been doing Information Governance as a gig for the last 20 years or so, I cannot stress enough that GDPR and Data Protection law historically is not about privacy and it never has been. … Yes there are privacy aspects but the primary concern is the fair and lawful use of personal information, not privacy.

Personally I think the Dutch court has it wrong: A grandmother posting a picture of her grandchild is personal use – she might have been doing it with the subconscious intention of ****ing her daughter off but it’s nothing other than personal use. … The problem with Data Protection is the way the laws are written allow for the nuance that is necessary in dealing for the day to day use of information and sometimes it creates daft situations like this.

Wait. Pause. hdyoung says we’re “missing the main story”:

 What’s going on with that family? Think about the multiple levels of dysfunction that must be going on if the parents are taking it [to] court just to make sure that grandma can’t post kid pics.

They’re obviously within their rights, but ooouuuuuf. Either those parents are a real piece of work or grandma is one serious monster. Could be both if it runs in the family.

Mind you, heed the bitter experience of Death89:

 You’ve clearly never had an arrogant grandparent arguing with you over how to bring your children up. This is serious in some families.

The right of the parent has to trump the the grandparent surely? I can’t see any reason to justify otherwise.

Meanwhile, Paul JM cuts to the chase:

 Silly old cow. If the mother wants the photos down, then take them down.

And Finally:

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Previously in And Finally

You have been reading SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites … so you don’t have to. Hate mail may be directed to @RiCHi or [email protected]. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Image sauce: mentrea (Pixabay)—likenesses are models who have no connection with the actual subjects of this story

Richi Jennings

Richi Jennings is a foolish independent industry analyst, editor, and content strategist. A former developer and marketer, he’s also written or edited for Computerworld, Microsoft, Cisco, Micro Focus, HashiCorp, Ferris Research, Osterman Research, Orthogonal Thinking, Native Trust, Elgan Media, Petri, Cyren, Agari, Webroot, HP, HPE, NetApp on Forbes and Bizarrely, his ridiculous work has even won awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, ABM/Jesse H. Neal, and B2B Magazine.

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