Woman wins battle to prevent her photos being shared online
Summary of story from The Independent, January 10, 2012
A woman named only as ‘AMP’ has won a landmark legal judgement forbidding anyone from sharing photographs of her online.
AMP had her camera phone, containing explicit photographs of her, stolen in June 2008. Later the photographs were posted onto a Dutch website alongside a link to her Facebook profile and other personal details.
Following a request from AMP’s lawyers the website removed the photographs. She was later contacted by a man called Nils Henrik-Derimot, who threatened to re-post her photographs unless she added him as a friend on Facebook.
After deleting his messages and blocking his profile, AMP heard that the photos had resurfaced on a popular “bit torrent” site – which allows users to share files quickly by downloading small fragments of larger files that are later pieced back together.
The files had also been uploaded with her name attached, meaning only those who knew the identity of AMP and that the photos were out there, were likely to find them.
The courts are often reluctant to issue injunctions against information which has become widely available, but AMP’s lawyers argued that these photographs were being shared by a relatively small, UK and EU based audience that could be easily traced and served with the injunction.
Mr Justice Ramsey agreed. “This is not a case where press freedom is at issue but it concerns the rights of individuals, not yet identified, to receive and impart information for which the Claimant has a right to privacy.”