Consultation For Your Reputation

Fighting back if someone shares intimate videos or photos online

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2024 | Cyberbullying |

There was once a time when capturing photos of people required special equipment and, at times, professional services. Now, most adults have devices more powerful than most cameras that require film. Individuals can take pictures of themselves or others and capture video footage of anything they experience.

The proliferation of mobile devices has helped people capture self-portraits of all kinds. People are more comfortable than ever before sharing intimate images of themselves with prospective or current romantic partners because they control the process. Some people even monetize images of themselves by joining subscription services where people pay to see their content.

Whether an individual receives monetary compensation for their explicit images or shares those images with others for free, they still have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In fact, Texas state law actually protects people from the unauthorized distribution of private images or videos. Texas has a special privacy statute that can protect people who discover that someone else has shared their private content online, possibly with the intention of humiliating them.

Unauthorized image sharing could be a misdemeanor

Under current Texas statutes, it might be a Class A misdemeanor for someone to share intimate images or video of another person without their consent. Even if someone voluntarily shared that content with someone previously, the recipient does not have the right to publish it online or otherwise share it with other people.

Someone who discovers the unauthorized distribution of their intimate videos or images could seek the prosecution of the party that shared those images online. If the prosecution is successful, the other party could face up to a year in state custody or as much as $4,000 in fines. In some cases, the party affected by that unauthorized distribution may also have grounds for a lawsuit if they suffered provable losses, such as the loss of a job, because of that unauthorized sharing.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has already upheld the validity of the statute criminalizing the intentional sharing of intimate images without someone’s explicit consent. Attempting to enforce the so-called revenge porn statute in Texas often requires significant effort and research, as people may try to protect themselves from repercussions by using seemingly anonymous accounts.

As such, getting the right support can make all the difference for those facing privacy violations related to intimate images or videos.