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Posting the photo of a detainee obtained from Facebook is an illegitimate interference

Publicado el 31/1/2020

Posting the photo of a detainee obtained from Facebook is an illegitimate interference

The Supreme Court notes that, as the first room already established in another previous ruling, a Facebook account is not considered open to the public.

The plenary of the first court has issued a sentence in which the appeal filed against a ruling that had seen illegitimate interference in the right to the image itself was published by the publication of the photograph, obtained from the profile of Facebook, of a person detained and imprisoned on charges of sexual abuse of minors.
As reported by the high court, the court considers that "the requirement to protect the right to information cannot mean that content rights are left empty" of the fundamental rights of those affected by their exercise. In his view, "these rights should only be sacrificed to the extent necessary to ensure free information in a democratic society."
In this sense, explains Europa Press, the Supreme considers that "although a person detained under the accusation of such a serious crime acquires a public relevance, at least momentary, such circumstance does not justify any diffusion of his public image."
"The function of freedom of information justifies reporting on such fact (the detention and imprisonment of the person accused of committing such acts) and that this information includes graphic information related to such facts, such as the images of the defendant's detention, his entry into the courthouse or his entry into the prison, as his public relevance has occurred in relation to these events, "he explains.
For the high court, this circumstance "does not justify that any image of the affected party can be used, and specifically, images of the accused that lack any connection with the newsworthy facts and whose dissemination has not expressly consented."
The Supreme Court has pointed out that, as the Chamber already established in another previous ruling, a Facebook account is not considered a place open to the public, and the fact that the profile picture of said account can be freely accessed does not constitute consent Express that requires Organic Law 1/1982.
"The purpose of an account opened in a social network on the Internet is the communication of its owner with third parties and the possibility that those third parties may have access to the content of that account and interact with its owner, but not that the image of the account holder in a media outlet, "highlights the Supreme.
According to the Supreme Court, the exception provided in the law for graphic information on events does not concur when the image of a specific person appears as merely accessory.
"While the reproduction of the image of the accused of committing a crime in the act of trial, entering the court building, in the course of judicial reconstruction of the facts, and in similar circumstances, can be considered as an accessory to the graphic information on these events, accommodated to the canons of the chronicle of events and, therefore, according to social uses, the same does not happen with the image obtained from an account of a social network and disseminated without consent, without relation to the facts whose public relevance justifies the issuance of the information, "he concludes.

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