Have you had an intimate image or video shared online without your consent?

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Are you struggling to get an intimate image or video removed? Do you know how to report the incident? Or are you wondering if you have a claim for the harm you have suffered? Keller Postman UK can help.

Also called ‘revenge porn’, intimate-image abuse often happens after a relationship breakup, when a spurned partner takes revenge by posting intimate sexual images and videos online. Current or ex-partners may share the images to make money or to cause harm. Intimate-image abuse is a criminal offence. But it is only illegal for a person to share a private sexual photograph or film without the consent of the individuals in it if they do so to cause distress. Unfortunately, proving an offender’s motive can be difficult.

If you are a victim of intimate-image abuse, please know that you are not alone. And there are steps you can take to get the image removed.

The problem with criminal prosecution

Pursuing a criminal prosecution for intimate-image abuse can be challenging. Not least because this may involve reporting a person with whom you likely once had a trusting relationship. What’s more, whilst a successful criminal prosecution may lead to imprisonment or a fine, victims of image-based sexual abuse are unlikely to secure any financial redress for the harm they have suffered. This means they are rarely compensated for psychiatric damage, loss of earnings or reputational harm experienced.

But there is another way to get justice. As a victim of intimate image abuse, you could have a claim against the adult website or social media platform that processed the intimate image of you. Processing is the legal term for storing, using, or sharing your data. You might be able to claim for misuse of private information and breach of confidence, as well as for breaches of UK data protection laws.

At Keller Postman UK, our specialist privacy and data protection team is experienced in this area, and we believe that some adult websites and platforms are breaching UK data protection laws – often for financial gain. The harm that intimate-image abuse can cause can be severe, and whilst we understand that money will not make amends for what has happened, making a claim for damages could make the sites posting these images think very hard about doing so in future.

We have put together the following guidance to help victims of intimate image abuse

Ask the platform to take your image down

Are you identifiable in the image? If yes, then the image counts as your personal data and you can contact the website or platform to request that it stops processing it and erases it.

Most websites and platforms have guidance on how to report content for removal. Look for directions to ‘Support’ or ‘Content removal’ or ‘Contact us’. If possible, include URL links to the relevant image. This will help the website or platform to find your image and remove it.

Save the evidence

It is a good idea to save any evidence you have of the offending image or video, for example, by taking screenshots or saving material to PDF.  We appreciate this can be distressing, so it might be worth asking a trusted friend or family member to help you with this.

We also recommend preparing a detailed timeline of what happened to support any criminal or civil legal action you may decide to bring.

Find where else your image is being shared

If you think your image or video has been shared on more than one site or platform, you can do a Google Reverse Image Search. This should point you toward all the sites that have the image.

You can flag any images with the search engines and ask that they remove them from their search results. However, this doesn’t get the image removed from the source website(s).

Get help

Sites like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have strict policies when it comes to adult content, and while there is still some way to go, they are getting better at enforcing these. If your image has been shared on a social media platform, use the report button to ask for it to be removed.

If your image is used on an adult website, you can use our template to ask them to remove it {see below}. 

If you feel uncomfortable contacting the website or platform, the Revenge Porn Helpline can do this on your behalf. It can also provide you with additional support. The Revenge Porn Helpline helps people over 18 and can be contacted at help@revengepornhelpline.org.uk or on 0345 6000 459. The helpline has put together the following tips to consider when making a report to an adult content site:

  • Sometimes when reporting content, you will be asked to provide a copy of your passport or driving licence, or a photograph of yourself holding your ID. The Revenge Porn Helpline strongly recommends against doing this
  • Use a burner email address if you can when making the report
  • Use private browsing mode on your device when making a report.

If the website refuses to remove your photo or video, you can seek legal representation. If you want to do this, please reach out to us We will assess whether you have a claim, and there is no obligation to take things forward. Once we have discussed your situation, we will advise you of your options. We may be able to fund any action you decide to take against the offending site or platform.

At Keller Postman UK, our knowledgeable privacy and data protection team is committed to securing access to justice. We do everything we can to help our clients get on with their lives with minimum disruption and without further distress.

Draft Template

Dear [insert name of site/platform]

My intimate [image(s)/video(s)] have been shared on your site without my consent. Your processing of my personal data without my consent amounts to a breach of data protection law in the UK.

[insert URL link to where the images have been shared if possible.]

I am requesting that you stop processing my personal data and erase it from your site immediately, along with any associated thumbnails.

I would be grateful if you could confirm by return when you have stopped processing my personal data and have erased it from your site.  

In March 2024, our firm changed its name to KP Law. 

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