Grandmother Ordered by Court to Delete Facebook Photos of Grandchildren

Grandmother Ordered by Court to Delete Facebook Photos of Grandchildren

A grandmother has been ordered by a European court to remove pictures of her grandchildren from Facebook and Pinterest or face increasing fines.

The incident began after a falling out between the woman and her daughter, the mother of the grandchildren. The mother of the children then requested that the photos be removed several times, but the grandmother refused, leading to the court case, which argued for their removal under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Normally, the GDPR would not apply to "purely personal" data, but due to their appearance on social media making them available to a larger audience, the court ruled the regulation was applicable in this case:

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

As such, the woman will be subject to a fine of €50 for every day she does not remove the photos, maxing out at €1,000. She will be subject to the same fine if she posts any images of her grandchildren in the future. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Assuming the mother took the pictures, this is a basic application of copyright law. What a family...

Agree it’s a pretty sad situation. I add to this that the generation of the “grandparents” somehow underestimate the risks of minors’ photo circulated on social networks. What do you think ?

Grandma’s with no basic concept of Copyright should be illegal

Just a sad situation all round. Hate hearing things like this.

Wow, I got used to the news about celebs being sued for their posts but that's whole new level.

It's the responsibility of the parents to protect the privacy of their children. To bad granny didn't took the photos on social media down when asked by the parents.

It sounds like the privacy of her children were not a problem with the children's parents prior to the spat, only afterwards. So i don't believe for a moment that this was the parent's reasons for demanding the removal, but only a further step to retaliate against the grandmother over their disagreement and a method to cause grief to the grandmother.

Its a shame that it came to what it did, and not sure I agree with the decision. Unless there was some kind of "contract" of usage with the photos, the parents had to have agreed to the grandmother having or taking the photos and posting, especially if a proven amount of time existed with her posting and not having any complaints. Im not a lawyer in any manner, just seems like so much bullshit.

If sharing with a 3rd party is the concern, why not just set the privacy options to only herself? That way she can keep them up but no one else will have access. Overall, still a ridiculous case.

Yeah, we don't really know the personal issues that led to such a ridiculous conclusion. Was it merely that the parents didn't want their children's issues broadcast to the world? I can understand that--most of my clients don't want me to put their children on the Internet, but they don't mind me using them in my salon galleries. Was this case something that could have been handled by teaching Granny how to manage Facebook security properly? We don't know.

Even with security settings, with Facebook you never know for sure, wouldn’t be the first time Facebook shares stuff without agreements and also changing their UX to confuse everyone. Also, who says she doesn’t, accidentally or not, change the settings.

Facebook already is a third party and one that is not trustworthy. Also, who are the friends of Grandma? Do I know them? What if I suspect there may be Paedophile in her circle? How about that Pastor? It is way more common than we want to believe.

From a parent’s perspective, I will never accept my child to be plastered on the Internet, privacy settings make little difference. Settings constantly change and Corporations share data without your approval. You have no way to truely know what is happening behind the scenes.

Case in point: I have a deleted Flickr account and can still find the images on Google Image search years later ...

100% correct decision from the court. EU has stronger protections than most of US and parents/guardians make the decisions for minors.

I would be happier if the headline had a full stop after "...Facebook."

That's why....prints!

To be clear, the accompanying photo is just a stock image of "happy senior woman with laptop" - right?

No that's the real deal - Grandma Getty ;)

Probably not what she expected when she signed the model release :-)

They should have used "Senior woman with laptop looking in shock at email containing bad news".

I did a google search for that, with the quotes, to see if the picture was real. No images, but there was a link.... leading right back to your comment.

Hey that's great. I haven't been able to get my photo gallery indexed in years of trying, but I post one dumb comment here and Google loves it. Where is the SEO justice? :-)

It is an amused lady looking at beefcake not children with cupcakes.

Please please please get rid of it ... such a vile platform

Follow-up article: "Five reasons why Capture One prevents family squabbles better than Lightroom"

Imagine that being your family, what a sad, pathetic situation.

If this was in the US the granny would have been charged 1.2 million dollars/day the images weren't pulled down with a maximum penalty of 155 million dollars.

I had pictures of my kids and their cousins at a 4th of July gathering. One of the in-laws dutifully tagged these now adults. One of the nieces was wearing a red, white and blue, Stars and Stripes shirt, and she untagged herself after a fellow law school student embarrassed her with it. She has socialially (media) distanced herself from many of us for professional image, I guess. Now those EU courts have taken the laws there and made it so I could be proceeded against for violating that child's right to their identity. What they're really doing is destroying any concept of family, imho.

Betting she'll just pay the fine.

What are “Facebook Photos” anyway? I had no idea people had facebooks or are they taking photos with a Facebook? What is a Facebook? A new laptop?

I'd do the same if someone posts a picture of me as a person on social media. Everyone that knows me - knows my absolute extreme position on images on social media. We know about Cambridge Analitica - and we found out about the image-harvesting of other company's on Facebook - selling services to whoever pays them.
And i'd ask tons more than 1000€'s. It's not heartless at all. It's the law - that when someone is not seen as an adult that the parents take over de defense over their rights. And no posting on social media means no posting on social media. We all know that pictures are harvested and connected - and that privacy is the main intend of the holy GDPR (i'm a big fan of the EU GDPR - and of Max Schrems - our hero that wants to correct the way Facebook is abusing my/your privacy).
What's happening between the grandmother and the parents - that's private matters.

"Thank you for not showing me pictures of your grandchildren"

Useful response: "Now THERE'S a baby!"