July 29, 2021

Share on WhatsApp the identity of your abuser is not punishable | My rights section

Share on WhatsApp the identity of your abuser is not punishable | My rights section

Spread social networks the sentence that punishes your abuser for breaking the measure of alienation is justified, and is not punishable. This is what establishes the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD), which filed the complaint against a woman who spread the identity of her abuser through Facebook and WhatsApp. According to the resolution of the organism (access the text here), dated July of this year, the communication of the aggressor's personal data was justified.

The condemned for breaking the distance measure (which forbade him from approaching at a minimum distance of 500 meters) had denounced his victim for publishing the sentence with his personal data on your Facebook wall (a group of 728 friends). In addition, the victim He had also published in his WhatsApp status the sentence of the sentence of maltreatment and the restraining order. The complainant alleged violation of his right to privacy, but the AEPD concludes that, in this case, the right of the victim to protect himself has a higher interest.

Indeed, in its resolution the AEPD explains that the seriousness of the facts that the person underwent personally justified the dissemination of this sentence, as a necessary measure to avoid future actions and protect their physical integrity. In addition, adds the agency, the information was true and was published in a closed group of Facebook which was subsequently withdrawn by the defendant.

On the other hand, the publication of a condemnatory sentence such as the one leaked in this case has personal significance, to which the regulations on data protection are therefore applicable. The AEPD examines, in particular, the article of the Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPD) that regulates the consent of the affected for the treatment of personal data. This provision is put in relation to the provisions of the old Directive (the facts are prior to the entry into force of the new Regulation) on the satisfaction of the legitimate interest pursued by the data controller.

It should be noted that the Agency, despite the fact that the current General Data Protection Regulation did not start to be applicable until May 25, 2018, goes to its content to assess the possibility of carrying out data processing not expressly consented to provided it is "necessary for the satisfaction of legitimate interests pursued" by the person in charge or a third party and other rights and fundamental freedoms do not prevail.

The AEPD refers to the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union to determine whether in this case, the conduct of the victim who disseminated the conviction was justified by pursuing a higher interest. In a ruling of May 2017, the European Court established guidelines to consider legitimate, in this sense, the publication of personal data. The applicable rule is that of weighting. In order to do so, a legitimate interest must be appreciated, for whose protection the publication of these data is necessary and, in addition, to prevail over the fundamental right to privacy of the complainant.

Finally, and as concluded by the AEPD, the defendant did have a legitimate interest in publishing the facts she had suffered, as a victim of gender violence, to avoid them in the future and protect her physical integrity. Therefore, the reporting of the complainant's data was justified and the proceedings are filed.

Judgments for abuse

In 2011, the Supreme Court (enter here to the text of the sentence) rejected the demand of an abuser against an information media that published his identity and image in a news about the trial for gender violence. The plaintiff asked for a 30,000 euro repair to the newspaper for spreading his name and photograph. But the High Court considered that the trial for abuse had public interest and freedom of information prevailed.

To learn more about the new regulatory framework that protects the privacy of personal data, click here.


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