Tech

Grandmother ordered to delete pictures of her grandkids on social media in EU privacy ruling

Key Points
  • The ruling is the result of a dispute between the grandmother and her daughter, who requested through police that the pictures be taken down.
  • A judge said the woman will be fined 50 euros for every day she fails to comply with the ruling, up to a maximum penalty of 1,000 euros.
  • The General Data Protection Regulation was introduced by the EU in 2018 to give people more control over their personal data.
A senior woman using a smartphone in her living room.
Tanaphot Iamjaro

A woman in the Netherlands has been ordered by a court to delete photographs of her grandchildren from social media in a ruling made under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.

The ruling is the result of a dispute between the grandmother and her daughter, who requested through police that the pictures be taken down. After the former refused to delete the images, the mother of the children escalated the matter to a court in the Dutch province of Gelderland.

The grandmother must remove photos that were uploaded to her Facebook and Pinterest accounts within 10 days, the judge said earlier this month, adding she will be fined 50 euros ($55) for every day she fails to comply, up to a maximum penalty of 1,000 euros.

What is GDPR?

Brussels introduced GDPR in May 2018 to give people across the bloc more control over their personal data. The framework gives consumers in the region the power to demand to know how their data is being used and to have the "right to be forgotten" — in other words, the ability to have all data a company stores on them removed.

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Organizations must also obtain the express consent of users before being able to process or store their data. Firms that fail to comply with the measures can be fined up to 20 million euros or 4% of their global annual revenue. As of January, the law had resulted in over $126 million in fines, according to law firm DLA Piper.

Monday will mark the second anniversary of GDPR's implementation.

The Dutch interpretation of the law holds that people must gain the permission of a legal guardian to post photos of children under the age of 16.

The judge in the case said that the data wasn't processed in a "purely personal or domestic" capacity, adding that it couldn't be ruled out that the images on Facebook may be distributed and come into the hands of third parties.