Uploading Photos Lifted From Social Media to Porn Sites Without Consent an Offence: Delhi HC

The Delhi high court held that photographs that are lifted from Facebook and Instagram accounts and then uploaded on pornographic websites without the consent of such person amount to an offence under section 67 of the IT Act. The court said that even if the photographs are not obscene or offensive, even then such an act, without the consent of the person, would amount to a breach of the person’s privacy.

The court made was hearing a plea where the petitioner alleged that her images and details were taken without her knowledge or consent from her private social media accounts on ‘Facebook’ and ‘Instagram’, and were unlawfully posted on a pornographic website. This happened despite her “privacy settings” being activated on her social media accounts, she added. Therefore, such conduct is punishable under section 67 of the IT Act and will fall within the meaning of mischief under IPC and IT Act.

 

The court also held that the “offensive” content shall be removed from the website or online platform within 24 hours of receipt of the court order. Law enforcement agencies should be directed to obtain all unique identifiers relating to the offending content such as the URL (uniform resource locator), account ID, handle name, Internet Protocol address and a hash value of the actual offending content along with the metadata, subscriber information, access logs and such other information as the law enforcement agency may require from concerned websites as provided under Rule 3(1)(j) of the 2021 Rules. The same must be done as soon as possible but not later than 72 hours.

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