Violators who breach the privacy of children in Dubai and the UAE could face huge fines or even jail
6 November 2018| Last updated on 31 March 2019
There are rising concerns from parents in the UAE concerning the safety of their children in the country.
According to Khaleej Times, parents in the UAE have expressed their worries regarding the safety of children living here - especially in an age where digital privacy and its boundaries are particularly blurry.
It's important to know then, whether you're a parent yourself or an expat living or moving to Dubai, the laws surrounding the photographing and filming of children and other individuals in Dubai and the UAE.
The penalties of filming children in Dubai
Any individual caught filming or photographing children in public areas across Dubai and the rest of the country - WITHOUT the permission of the parents - can face a fine of no less than AED 150,000 and up to a whopping AED 500,000. Violators can also face a jail term of no less than six months.
The punishment for filming a child in Dubai without parental consent is stipulated as per the UAE's Federal Law No. 5/2012, which states that photographing others or creating, transferring, disclosing, copying and saving electronic photos can result in huge fines and time in jail.
Article 21 of the UAE Federal Law No. 5/2012 states:
An individual "shall be punished by imprisonment of a period of at least six months and a fine not less than one hundred and fifty thousand dirhams and not in excess of five hundred thousand Dirhams or either of these two penalties whoever uses a computer network or and electronic information system or any information technology means for the invasion of privacy of another person in other than the cases allowed by the law and by any of the following ways:
- Eavesdropping, interception, recording, transferring, transmitting or disclosure of conversations or communications, or audio or visual materials.
- Photographing others or creating, transferring, disclosing, copying or saving electronic photos.
- Publishing news, electronic photos or photographs, scenes, comments, statements or information even if true and correct.
Shall also be punished by imprisonment for a period of at least one year and a fine not less than two hundred and fifty thousand dirhams and not in excess of five hundred thousand dirhams or either of these two penalties whoever uses an electronic information system or any information technology means for amending or processing a record, photo or scene for the purpose of defamation of or offending another person or for attacking or invading his privacy.
Taking photos of kids in Dubai
Many expatriates living in Dubai will have tales of how strangers approached them in one of Dubai's malls or another public place, requesting they take a photo of their child. For a lot of nationalities here, coming across and meeting another child from a different country can spark quite the curiosity.
The majority of the time, it's harmless - they may even want to take a photo of your child with their own.
Saying that, all parents have their rights and should know them when it comes to protecting their child's privacy in this digital age.
If any stranger requests to take a photo of your child in public and you say no, they do not have your explicit consent. Thus, if an image is taken, you know the law protects both yourself and your child.
Understandably, there are concerns that a photo of a child could be used in a manner that may breach the modesty of a child - explicitly.
In fact, Article 18 of the same Federal Law states that an individual "shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of at least six months and a fine not less than one hundred fifty thousand Dirhams and not in excess of one million dirhams whoever has deliberately acquired pornographic materials involving juveniles by using an electronic information system or computer network or electronic website or any information technology means."