Can I upload photos of my friends to the Internet?

We went out to a party and took a group photo. Then someone decides to upload it to social networks . However, have all of you who appear in that photo given their consent for it to end up on Instagram or any other network? If you have doubts about whether you can upload photos of your friends to the Internet, you better read what the regulations say about it.

The right to privacy protects us from taking photographs without consent . However, it must also be taken into account that even if we have posed for a photo, this does not imply that the owner of the photo can upload it without a second consent.

Can I upload third party photos?

Publishing photos without the consent of other people on the Internet may constitute a crime punishable by the Penal Code. Specifically, it would be a violation of  Organic Law 1/1982 on civil protection of the right to honor, personal and family privacy and one’s own image .

«Taking images without consent in a public space is not a crime, because it is considered that the person is voluntarily exposing himself, but posting them on social networks or web pages can be and generate responsibility for the protection of honor, privacy and one’s own image» , has detailed the doctor in Law Víctor Cazurro , director of the Master in Data Protection of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR).

If they have uploaded a photo in which we appear and we have not given consent for it (even if they have tagged us), we can even go so far as to complain to the AEPD. The affected party must request its removal from the medium or social network within a month, and if it is not removed, then they can complain to the Spanish Agency for Data Protection. This is usually quite effective in resolving these cases and debugging the responsibilities of the offenders, although the process is not exactly fast.

In addition, a requirement of the AEPD is to justify that the removal of the image has previously been required of those who have used it “without consent”, since, “without this proof, the agency cannot process the claim”, explains the doctor in Right.

A rule that no one applies

Once we know what the legislation that applies to sharing photos of third parties is, we cannot deny that it really is not something that is complied with and that we usually look the other way (not in the photo, otherwise we go wrong). Do you usually ask your friends and acquaintances for permission to upload a photo in which they appear and tag them?

In fact, it must be taken into account that the consent to take the photo of that one to later share it on social networks is different. “If we are not faced with any exception (for example, that the person photographed holds a public position), it will be necessary that the consent of the person photographed is requested before taking the photograph.


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