Getting mad at your parents for posting photos of your kids seems reasonable. But not many people sue their mom and dad over it.
A woman in the Netherlands did just that and won thanks to the GDPR, the EU’s robust data privacy laws.
For every day the grandmother didn’t remove the photos after the decision, the ruling stated she would be fined 50 euros, or around $54, up to a maximum of around $1,100.
The judge presiding over the case decided that the issue between the mom and daughter fell under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The EU privacy laws stringently regulate how companies manage private data. The goal of these laws is to put individuals in control of their digital lives.
The GDPR doesn’t cover “household” data disputes. But when the photos were posted on social media, said the judge, they became public. And that’s why GDPR applies to the situation.
The two found themselves in court after the woman said she repeatedly her mother remove the photos of her children, ages 5, 6, and 14. The woman stated that she simply did not want her children’s photos posted on the internet.
The kids’ grandma refused to take the photos down. So, the daughter took her mom to court.
According to a local report on the case, the woman hasn’t spoken to her mother for a year due to the dispute.
As a parent of two small children, I empathize with the mom here. After all, they are her kids. I wouldn’t have taken it this far. But I’ve told them they need to be careful when posting photos of their grandchildren. I’ve had to scan photos they posted on social media to make sure they didn’t give away sensitive location details.
While this case is a unique use of GDPR, many countries do have laws that require consent from someone before you can post their picture.