If you've ever taken a sexy photo of yourself to send to your boo, only to break up months later and wonder where into the ether that photo ended up, you're probably not alone. Now, if you live in Germany, you can breathe a little easier: A German court has just ruled that someone must delete all nude photos of an ex-partner if that ex-partner requests it.
The case was brought by a woman in central Germany who had demanded that her ex-partner delete all the nude photos and erotic videos he had taken over the course of their relationship (all had been done consensually). A high court in Koblenz decided that her right to privacy was more important than his right to ownership of the property, so even though the man claimed he had no intention of publishing them, the court ruled he must delete them.
Experts welcome this decision as a battle won in the war against online bullying and revenge porn. Tim Geissler, a lawyer who specializes in revenge porn cases, told the Guardian that it will hopefully allow would-be victims of revenge porn to take action before any damage is done (i.e. before your naked selfies end up plastered all over the Internet without your permission).
The Koblenz decision follows on the heels of the EU's recent ruling that Google could be forced to delete links and other sensitive information if users request it, and while the former has many people celebrating that it could establish a European "right to be forgotten," experts say the latter is more about how you're allowed to use your personal image than data or privacy laws.
"The Koblenz decision was about the 'right for one's own image,' which is a special construction of continental European jurisprudence," Viktor Mayor-Schonberger, a professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, told the Guardian.
It's also important to note that the court specified that the woman in the Koblenz case could only request the deletion of naked photos but not of photos in which she was fully clothed. So naked or erotic photos are (thankfully) off-limits, but those embarrassing pics of that time you thought you could pull off the ombré trend and harem pants and failed? Fair game!
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