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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My wife has had photographs stolen from her private instagram

Resolved Question:

My wife has had photographs stolen from her private instagram account by my ex-wife (or someone acting on her behalf). My ex-wife has submitted them as evidence of a 'lavish lifestyle' in an ongoing case between me and the csa.
What charges or action can I or my wife take against my ex-wife for steeling these photos? We consider it to be an invasion of privacy or stalking.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Please clarify what you mean by stolen? What the account hacked please?

Customer:

Hi Alex,

Customer:

Yes the account would appear to have been hacked. The 'evidence' looks like photos have been taken or printed from my wifes instagram account.

Alex Watts :

In that case it needs to be reported to the Police. Hacking is illegal and could well be an offence under the Misuse of Computers Act 1990

Alex Watts :

So report it to the Police who can investigate and prosecute where necessary.

Alex Watts :

Once you have a conviction it would then be easier to take civil action against the person concerned and sue for loss and damage.

Alex Watts :

But the first port of call if the Police

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

The police have already said that instagram is 'public domain' so won't get involved. Do we have to prove that the account has been hacked?

Alex Watts :

Let me just get the wording of the Act

Alex Watts :

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if—


(a)he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer [F1, or to enable any such access to be secured]F1 ;


(b)the access he intends to secure [F2, or to enable to be secured,]F2 is unauthorised; and


(c)he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.

Alex Watts :

So yes, he would need to hack it.

Alex Watts :

If the images were just copied and it was in the public domain you can not stop that.

Alex Watts :

For example if someone does not have the correct privacy settings on Facebook, you can't stop them copying and distributing the images.

Alex Watts :

But if someone hacked into the account and stole the images, that would be an offence

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

So do we have to prove that the account was set to 'private'?

Alex Watts :

Yes you would do sadly. Even if you went down the civil route.

Alex Watts :

The burden would be on you to show it was hacked, rather than generally available to the public

Customer:

Thank you. With regards ***** ***** case with the CSA, can I have the photo's dismissed based on the same principal?

Alex Watts :

I would have thought so yes.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Alex Watts :

You should note I am not a CSA specialist but deal with criminal matters.

Alex Watts :

Is there anything else you would like to ask me about this?

Alex Watts :

I should add if someone on behalf of your ex did it the answer remains the same. If they are public photos there is nothing you can do. If the account was hacked then it is an offence

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes, thank you Alex

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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