Law & Order: Eavesdropping, Taking, sharing & posting photographs...

“Privacy” in the UAE

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 19 July 2023
Law & Order: Eavesdropping, Taking, sharing & posting photographs...

“Privacy” in the UAE

The term “Privacy” cannot be easily conceptualised. Privacy means “the condition or state of being free from public attention to intrusion inter or interference with one’s acts or decisions.” Privacy is a right to be enjoyed by every human being by virtue of his or her own existence. It also extends to bodily integrity, personal autonomy, personal data, compelled speech and freedom to dissent or move or think. UAE Constitution is considered to represent the general right to privacy for citizens of the UAE, where it provides for the right to freedom and secrecy of communication by post, telegraph, or other means of communication under the law. UAE Penal Code protects the Privacy and does not permit the ‘divulging’ of secrets. UAE laws are wide reaching and provides broader protection to individual’s “Privacy” in the UAE such as Federal Decree-Law Number 34 of 2021 protects online Privacy, Federal Decree Law Number 45 of 2021 provides Data Protection rights to individuals located in the UAE.

How is your “Privacy” protected in the UAE?

Anyone who uses an information network, electronic information system, or any information technology means with the intention of invading a person's privacy, personal or family life without consent and against legal provisions, in any of the following ways shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not less than 6 months and a fine not less than AED 150,000 and not exceeding AED 500,000, or either of these two penalties:

  1. Eavesdropping, interception, recording, communication, transmission or disclosure of conversations, communications or audio or video materials.
  2. Taking photographs of others at any public or private place or preparing, communicating, exposing, copying or keeping electronic images thereof.
  3. Spreading news, electronic images, photographs, footages, comments, data or information, even if true and correct, to harm such person.
  4. Taking, communication or publication of photographs of the casualties, dead persons or victims of accidents or disasters without permission or consent of the concerned persons.
  5. Tracking, detecting, disclosing, exposing, copying or keeping data of geographical sites of third parties.

UAE Personal Data Protection Law mandates the companies to adopt a holistic, structured, and collaborative approach to establish a privacy program that upholds the privacy rights of individuals in the UAE, and it controls for the processing of personal data, outlines the general obligations of companies that have personal data to secure it and maintain its confidentiality and “Privacy”. Individuals have the rights over their personal data such as right to information and access, right to rectification/ blocking/ erasure of the data, right to data portability, and the right to object.

How can we be mindful of our “Privacy” and other’s “Privacy”?

Following are some of the instances of Privacy breach:

  • Taking pictures or videos of others without their permission.
  • Posting such pictures or videos on social media platforms without their approvals.
  • Taking pictures of other’s properties without their permission (such as house, cars, number plates).
  • Sharing private information of the individuals such as medical information, bank details.
  • Taking pictures of dead or injured person.
  • tracing a person’s geographic site data.
  • Checking spouse’s phone without his/her consent.

For any general commercial and corporate advice, kindly contact us at  Law & Order UAE.

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