Grandmother Ordered to Delete Facebook Photos of Her Grandchildren Because of GDPR: Data Privacy Trends

A woman has been ordered by a court in the Netherlands to delete photographs of her grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents’ permission.

According to the BBC (Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR), the matter ended up in court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter.  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 judge in the case ruled the matter was within the scope of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  While GDPR does not apply to the “purely personal” or “household” processing of data, that exemption did not apply because posting photographs on social media made them available to a wider audience, the ruling said.

“With Facebook, it cannot be ruled out that placed photos may be distributed and may end up in the hands of third parties,” it said.

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

Interesting ruling, but it’s also certainly a bit sad that it came to that within that family.  I could certainly see similar rulings apply to friends of social media users who are included (and even named) within photos to which they didn’t give their consent to be posted.  We could see a lot more cases on this in the future.

Hopefully, all of you will be able to avoid similar family drama this weekend and, if you’re in the US, have a great Memorial Day weekend!  Consider taking a moment to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

So, what do you think?  Do you think the court ruling was appropriate or do you think it’s excessive to disallow a grandmother to share pictures of her grandkids on social media?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

2 comments

  1. I think that grandmother had to learn the hard way to accept her child’s parenting decisions. There are no parental rights for grandparents here in the States. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same were true in the Netherlands. Grandmom could have solved that dispute by simply removing the photos. Stubborn.

  2. Thanks, Darius! Stubborn…but sad, as well. It’s a shame that family relationships get to that point. But, from a matter of law standpoint, it was clearly the correct decision, IMO.

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