UAE authority warns of Dh150,000 fine for 'revealing secrets'; what the law says

Did you know that you can be jailed and penalised for recording and sharing a private conversation?

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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Tue 12 Dec 2023, 4:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Dec 2023, 9:08 PM

Revealing secrets is a crime in the UAE — and one that comes with a hefty fine of at least Dh150,000.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Authority on Tuesday explained some key details of the country's anti-rumours and cybercrime law (specifically, Article 44 of Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021), which seeks to protect people's privacy.

With smart technologies now accessible to all, the UAE law makes sure that residents' personal space and boundaries are respected at all times.

One cannot record or share conversations or take and store pictures of others — especially without their consent, the ADJD reminds residents in its awareness drive.

The UAE applies zero tolerance on such offences that breach someone's privacy. A number of other actions fall under these violations, which can get an offender dined at least Dh150,000 to Dh500,000 and/or jailed for at least six months. These include:

  • Sharing news, images, comments or private information about a person — without his/her consent — even if the material is genuine
  • Recording, broadcasting or disclosing conversations and audio-visual materials about a person
  • Taking photos of the injured, dead, or victims of accidents, and publishing them without consent
  • Tracking a person's GPS location

Penalties shall be raised to at least one year in jail and/or fines of Dh250,000 to Dh500,000 if a voice note, photo or a scene is altered to defame or offend another person, the ADJD said.

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