What you need to know:
- Some private clubs take visitors’ photos and use them in their promotions without their consent.
- Pictures taken in schools or churches are also sometimes misused by unscrupulous characters.
The online world is exciting and rewarding for those involved, but can also be devastating. Out there lies a virtual jungle in which people sometimes behave badly to their own detriment or pose a grave risk to others.
The violation of privacy happens on a daily basis and some unsuspecting or innocent people get abused for other’s individual salacious gain.
Some private clubs take visitors’ photos and use them in their promotions without their consent. This is particularly rife on social media. Pictures taken in schools or churches are also sometimes misused by unscrupulous characters.
There are also cases of images taken of subjects in vulnerable or compromising situations and publicised without the subjects’ okaying and used for extortion or blackmail. With mobile phones making it easy to take and circulate photos, it gets dire and messy at times.
Most affected victims
However, all is not lost, especially for club revellers, who have been the most affected victims. Following a Sh1,850,000 fine slapped on a Nairobi club after a customer whose photo has been circulating on social media filed a complaint.
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) investigated the issue, leading to the fine. Most of the videos and images shared on social media platforms with the owners’ consent.
This and two other clubs have been fined a total of Sh9.3 million sending a stern warning to those who fail to respect for the rights of data subjects and comply with the Data Protection Act. This law has always been there, having been enacted in 2019. And as the saying goes, ignorance is no defence.
A Nairobi school was fined Sh4.5 million over images and videos of girls and boys in uniform reciting poems or in class that ended up on Facebook, and their parents took action.
The message is about the need for individuals, and private and public organisations to respect privacy online or risk hefty fines.