This is a situation that has been repeated since the emergence of social networks. A person in a compromised situation, a stranger pulls out a cell phone, records it, posts it, goes viral, and half of Spain knows about it. It happened to a man on Twelfth Night in 2022 when he was walking his dog outside after a night walk. It’s three in the morning, sick with alcohol and vulnerable, the moment comes when he has to hold on to the trash can to keep from falling. At this point, he is noticed by a car driver who approaches and captures the scene on video while taunting him.
The recording lasted a minute and 35 seconds. Without wasting a moment, the unidentified driver shares it on WhatsApp groups and Facebook, even though the hero’s face is clearly visible in the pictures, as his comments helped identify him.
The next morning the victim gets up and checks that the video has been “published and distributed on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube; To the point that it has affected the entire national territory,” he said in his statement to the Spanish Data Protection Agency. This week, the authority decided to fine whoever took the video and distributed it 10,000 euros.
The penalty amount is one of the highest imposed by the privacy regulator for publishing the content of these features without the consent of the affected party. It is, for example, three times the amount imposed on a bar owner who released a video of a councilor from the city of Almeria staggering and collapsing after drinking in his establishment.
In this case, the agency considered an aggravating circumstance that the driver’s taunting helped others identify the complainant, “because it broadcasts the video mockingly in a delicate situation, thereby allowing for unambiguous identification.” In turn, “the offender’s conduct reflects a clear intent to offend the complainant, as he exposes the video through social networks, which is immediately disseminated,” the AEPD added. your resolution.
Months in circulation
Despite the promptness with which the victim reported the facts (he filed a complaint on January 8, 2022, less than 48 hours after the video was posted), it circulated for months. In June, it was still available from the defendant’s own profile despite AEPD’s request that it be removed, so the agency asked Meta (the owner of Facebook and Instagram) to remove it.
According to the resolution, no charges were sent to the sanctioned party during the process. In the complaint, the victim admits that at the time of the recording she was “quite unwell” due to “alleged consumption of alcoholic beverages,” her lawyer said. “The picture clearly shows how my client was in a very bad physical condition as a result of what was described above, holding a rubbish bin,” he adds.
“We understand that the attitude of the person recording the video is completely ignorant and blown out of proportion, laughing and mocking the DAAA, the anonymization of the complainant, which AEPD introduced in its resolution, ‘without any reason or even offering to help in such a situation, By omitting all possible help. The video clearly shows my client’s face, which is perfectly recognizable. My director is not a public figure,” the statement continued.
The fine has been appealed by both interested parties to the Dispute-Administrative Chamber of the National Court.
Source: El Diario