27 May 2020

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR

A woman has been ordered to remove photos of her grandchildren from her social media accounts after a judge ruled that the matter was covered by, and in breach of, GPDR rules.

The pictures were published on the grandmother's social media pages without express permission and the matter ended up in a Dutch court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter when the former refused to delete the material.

The mother of the children had asked several times for the pictures to be deleted.

GDPR - introduced across the European Union, including the UK, in 2018 to protect personal data - does not apply to the "purely personal" or "household" processing of data.

However, that exemption did not apply because posting photographs on social media made them available to a wider audience, the ruling said.

"With Facebook, it cannot be ruled out that placed photos may be distributed and may end up in the hands of third parties," it said.

The woman must remove the photos or pay a fine of €50 (£45) for every day that she fails to comply with the order, up to a maximum fine of €1,000. If she posts more images of the children in the future, she will be fined an extra €50 a day.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU data protection regulation that came into force on 25 May 2018, alongside the UK Data Protection Act 2018, and it represents a significant reform in data protection, mainly for businesses.

Organisations that fail to comply with the GDPR could be liable for penalties of up to the greater of 4% of turnover or £17million.

For individuals, GDPR aims to strengthen personal rights in relation to how data is processed to prevent businesses abusing their access to that data.

However, individuals in dispute with each other, like this mother v daughter case, is unusual.

The ruling, yet to be tested in a Scottish or English court, will surprise a lot of people who probably don't think too much before they tweet or post photos.

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