How to stop privacy theft by Big Tech
Violating individual privacy is a punishable offence in the UAE. Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Violating individual privacy is a punishable offence in the UAE, with fines up to Dh500,000 imposed on offenders, the UAE Public Prosecution has warned.

In some cases, the accused can also be jailed for at least six months.

In a fresh reminder, the Public Prosecution has outlined the acts that comprise an infringement of privacy in the UAE.

Acts of privacy infringement

• Evesdropping, intervention in, or the recording, transfering, broadcasting, or divulgence of talking, communications, or audio or visual materials

• Taking photos of others at any public or private place, or the preparation of electronic photos, or transferring, revealing, copying, or keeping the same

• Publication of news, electronic photos, photographs, scenes, comments, data, or information, even if real and true, in order to cause harm to a person

• Taking photos of the wounded, the dead, or the victims of accidents or disasters, and the transfer or publication without a permit of consent from the concerned party

• Tracing and observation of geographic site data to others, or divulging, transferring, revealing, copying, or keeping them


The Public Prosecution said a minimum jail sentence of six months, or fines ranging between Dh150,000 and Dh500,000, or both, will be imposed on anyone using an information network, an electronic information system, or a means of information technology, in order to infringe on the privacy of a person, or the sanctity of the private or family life of individuals without their consent an in other than legally permitted cases.

The jail term and fines are higher if the obtained materials are altered for the purposes of libel.

“Whoever uses an electronic information system or a means of information technology to make any alteration or processing on a recording, image, or scene, for the purpose of libel or offense against another person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a duration of not less than a year, and/or fined…not less than Dh250,000 and not more than Dh500,000,” the Public Prosecution said.