Seanad debates

Friday, 18 December 2020

Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Committee and Remaining Stages


10:00 am

Mary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I believe amendment No. 21 should be considered for the future and should be put in. Otherwise we are creating a situation where there is an obligation on me to constantly google myself and search to ensure that I am in control of any images that are or may be posted about me. I believe that puts an obligation on everyone to be vigilant of their own concern and it creates a duty of care about themselves rather than the situation of providing for when the person becomes aware that something happened. We have had instances where media campaigns have been sufficient to put people on notice of the time limit for applying for some statutory funding and so on. How do we determine when someone could reasonably have become aware? We have to mind that. We have some work to do in defining what that means, especially when we are talking about social media platforms. At the same time, we need it not to be from the date that it got posted. There needs to be some latitude to extend that out. Otherwise we create an environment of paranoia where we are all obliged to be paranoid about our images or else we may be negligent or we may remove the opportunity to have an offence prosecuted.


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