A man sued by his ex-wife for reading their nine-year-old daughter’s WhatsApp chats has been cleared by a Spanish court.
Experts believe the ruling could set a precedent for what constitutes parental monitoring in the realms of underage online privacy, reports The Local.
The case happened in northern Spain.
The man’s former wife has appealed to the Provincial Court of Pontevedra, claiming that the accused had breached his daughter’s privacy rights by reading her Whatsapp conversations, including those with the plaintiff herself.
‘Both my kids told me that their father took them to their bedrooms and went over my daughter’s conversations with them.
‘He asked my son for his phone’s password too but he refused,’ reported the Spanish daily El Español from court proceedings.
The woman’s contention was that her ex-husband’s actions breached Spain’s privacy laws.
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However, the judge disagreed and ruled that privacy was secondary to an article of country’s civil code, relating to parental responsibilities.
According to magistrate María del Rosario Cimadevila Cea, Whatsapp and other social media usage by minors ‘requires attention and vigilance on the part of the parents or carers’.
The court heard that the man had received permission from his daughter to read her Whatsapp chats together.