Posting photos and videos online: the updated Guidelines of the Italian DPA

The Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has recently updated its own guidelines on privacy protection and sharing of online content.

Addressing mostly young users of social networks, in April 2022 the Italian DPA published a video summarizing the main precautions to adopt before posting photos and videos online, suggesting to pay attention to what they choose to publish and to the different methods of publication available.

By a video with a simple graphic but immediately comprehensible, it reminded to publish images of other people only with their consent. Likewise, even the addition of tags containing the name of other people should be subjected to their consent, respecting therefore their possible will not to appear online.

The Italian DPA then invited to think before posting photos and videos online, because their elimination after the publication could be extremely hard. In fact, if other users have copied, shared or published a certain content on other websites or social networks, not even the elimination of the account of the user could be sufficient to definitely remove that content from the web.

This circumstance is also highlighted in the conditions of use of the main social networks.

For example, Instagram informs that the content published by users will not be eliminated, not even at the request of the users themselves, if the content “have been used by others users in accordance with the present license and they have not deleted it”.

Facebook’s terms and condition relating to the deletion of the account are also similar: “When a user deletes their account, we delete the element they published, such as photos and status updates and it will not be possible to recover this information. The information that other people have shared relating to the user is not part of the account and will not be deleted”.

Lastly, the Italian DPA invited to reflect on the type of public with which one wants to share an image or video. Since the main social networks allow to choose whether the content will be visible to all, the DPA suggests to make this choice carefully and evaluate the opportunity to make the content visible only to a list of people chosen by the users themselves.

The brief video, which integrates the guidelines published in November 2020, is available on the Italian DPA YouTube channel at this link.

Ilaria Feriti