Can I be forced to delete photos of my grandchildren or young children on Facebook?

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The typical thing that, without the due measure and temperance, causes a family conflict. In the era of social networks, many people often upload images of their children or grandchildren to their profiles. They do it, in most cases, to show off the smallest of the home. Who doesn’t want to show the world how handsome they are! The problem comes because it can lead to a legal conflict like the one that happened to a grandmother: a court in the Netherlands has forced her to remove all the material from her grandchildren by publishing it without permission on her Facebook and Pinterest profiles.

The opinion argues that the grandmother, according to local media, has breached the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD). The woman’s refusal to delete photos on social media hit the courts in the Netherlands, turning what started as a family dispute into a demonstration of the limits of internet privacy laws.

The judge in the province of Gelderland, in the east of the country, decided the woman was prohibited from publishing images on social networks of her three grandchildren without the permission of her daughter, the mother of the children. The ruling says that it has violated Europe’s privacy regulations, which nevertheless allow countries to define the age at which young people can decide their digital identity. In the Netherlands, the RGPD establishes that publishing photos of children under 16 requires the permission of their legal guardians.

This case has attracted attention for its novel application of the mandatory privacy law for two years. A legal framework that guarantees citizens, making it possible for governments to use tools to combat the data collection practices of large companies such as Facebook and Google. But it also sets other limits for users. “This could happen here,” says Samuel Parra, an expert jurist in digital law, who in a telephone conversation with ABC recalls that the law in Spain places minors at 14. “The GDPR leaves a margin for each Member State. If they were younger than this age, in Spain, the parents who have the possibility of publishing photographs of these minors are the parents, ”he adds.

Things change when they reach the age of majority, allowing those affected to demand the removal of the contents as they consider themselves aggrieved. “They can decide whether to demand the removal of some images when, when they couldn’t legally decide then,” he says. «If you are under 14 years old, the parents decide whether or not they can publish images of the minors on social networks. If parents are divorced, the member who does not want the content to be published prevails, “he adds.

The RGPD has been seen as an example to be followed by the United States, but it has also generated criticism when considering, according to experts, that it has been applied lukewarm against the Internet giants. In its two years of application, the truth is that few measures have been approved against companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter that have been accused of repeatedly violating the law. A study by the security firm Check Point shows that Spanish companies still have a lot of work to do: only 52% have fully adapted to the regulation, 8% below the European average. .

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