On 21st July, 2021, the High Court (Labour Division), Accra awarded damages of GH₵75,000 for breach of right to privacy in favour of Ms. Q-C, a former school Administrator. The proprietress of the school where Ms. Q-C formerly worked, had taken her photo without her consent, knowledge or authorization and shared the photo on the school’s WhatsApp group for its teaching and non-teaching staff.

The photo was taken when Ms. Q-C and another staff member, Mr. K A (now deceased) were taken by two policemen from the school premises to the Manet Police Station at Spintex Road, Accra. From the evidence, the policemen acted upon the instruction and direction of the school proprietress. Ms. Q-C was never charged with or convicted of any crime at all. But her photo taken at the Police Station and circulated by the school proprietress put no one in doubt that she had committed a crime.

The Court held that, taking the photo without her consent, knowledge or authorization while in the custody of the police and circulating it on the school’s staff WhatsApp group was an infringement on Ms. Q-C’s right to privacy as enshrined in the Constitution and the Data Protection Act. The Court further awarded her damages for false imprisonment, defamation and constructive dismissal.

Moral of the case: We must be careful what information we pick on others and share on social media or elsewhere. We may suffer huge damages and costs for it.

Source: FSB Law Consult.

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