SR 500,000 fine for sharing private videos of others on Social Media

With the increasing use of technology worldwide, the use of digital recording technology such as cameras set in the smartphones is seen to be used by the majority of people, especially in Saudi Arabia where it is used to capture video of wrong doing on the part of public officials. Smartphones are not just the favorite of all, but one of the most effective methods of recording videos of government officials to stop them for their misconduct and negligence. It is even used to catch the cheaters ditching their spouses. [irp]

Thanks to smartphones for making our lives easier. Nowadays, it is very common to clean one’s dirty laundry in the public. Talking about marital troubles that were once only restricted to the families, however, with the invention of smartphones and social media websites; this is no longer the case.  It takes hardly a few minutes for the spouses to expose their cheating partners.

After the social media sites along with the smartphones came into being, the number of videos uploaded on social media websites increased to 200% and the people who viewed it was more than 260%.  In order to finish the trend of uploading videos that damages one's reputation, the ministry of interior have joined with the cyber crime and issued directions stating that a person who uploads any of such videos that spoiled others reputation, will face a 5 years prison along with a fine of up to SR 30,000 and in case of extremely damaging videos, both of the punishments are given.  Because of these directives, many victims were seen in stepping forward and filing claims against those who were involved in damaging their reputation.

Nouf Al-Yahya, a senior lawyer stated that many people were confused about the laws and wanted to know whether uploading other’s videos without their permission is illegal or not and even wanted to know about the penalties that would have come with image-damaging videos.  To make it more clear, there are laws that consider any person who performs such activities as a criminal.

Besides the acts stated above, even hacking into someone’s computer, threatening or black mailing, hacking a website or violating other’s privacy are all parts of cyber crime. Even showing dancing or singing videos to children under the age of 10, that leaves a negative impact on the child is considered as a violent crime and that person should be punished. As per article 36 of the convention on the rights of the child, it should be considered as an act of violation and also emphasizes on protecting children against all kinds of abuse.[irp]

Amal al-ameer, a psychologist said that according to his research and experience, the majority of the people do not find anything wrong in posting abusing videos that they may find online. But she said that such actions can spoil the person’s both physical as well as mental powers. She further said that technology should not be used against others. The culture of respect for privacy should be there in every society to stop such practices from taking place.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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