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Dubai: The UAE Public Prosecution has highlighted a story on its social media to drive home an important lesson for the public.

The story begins with a mention of a man - "Khaled" - who dreamt of wealth and fame which drove him to create a social media page of “funny and hilarious videos” to attract more viewers and followers.

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The increased traffic on the social media page, as the story goes, prompted him to shoot a visual of a family without their permission. The visual was accompanied by sarcastic comments.

This got Khaled into big trouble as a complaint was lodged against him for filming the family without their consent.

The lesson to be learnt from this post is clear. As the authority states: “Social media is a means of networking, obtaining important information, and offering meaningful content. However, using it irresponsibly makes the person subject to legal accountability.”

What does the UAE law say?

According to Article 44 of the Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021, anyone found guilty of violating its provisions is liable to be jailed for a period of no less than six months and a fine of Dh150,000-Dh500,000, or either of these two penalties.

The violation covers anyone who uses a computer network, electronic information system or information technology means with the intent of attacking the privacy of a person or the sanctity of the private or family life of individuals without consent and in other than authorised cases by law, under the following cases:

Eavesdropping, interception, recording, communication, transmission or disclosure of conversations, communications or audio or video materials.

Taking photographs of others at any public or private place or preparing, communicating, exposing, copying or keeping electronic images thereof.

Spreading news, electronic images, photographs, footages, comments, data or information, even if true and correct, to harm such person.

Taking, communicating or publishing photographs of the casualties, dead persons or victims of accidents or disasters without permission or consent of the concerned persons.

Tracking, detecting, disclosing, exposing, copying or keeping data of geographical sites of third parties.

The law also governs the modification of content with the intent of defamation.

Anyone who uses an electronic information system or any means of information technology to make any modification or manipulation of a recording, image or scene, with the intent to defame or offend another person can be jailed for a period of no less than one year and a fine of Dh250,000-Dh500,000, or either of the two penalties.