Parents allowed to read kids’ Whatsapp messages, court rules in Pontevedra

The judge ruled that there was a legal clash with Article 154 of the country’s civil code, relating to parental responsibilities.

LAST UPDATED: 5 Jan, 2018 @ 11:15
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A FATHER who read his daughter’s Whatsapp messages has been cleared by a Spanish court after his wife tried to sue him.

The mother argued that he had breached the young girl’s privacy when he read her conversations on the messaging app between her friends and her mother.

“Both my kids told me that their father took them to their bedrooms and went over my daughter’s conversations with them,” the mother told a court in Pontevedra, northern Spain.

“He asked my son for his phone’s password too but he refused.”

But despite the woman’s claims that her ex-husband’s actions represented a breach of Spain’s privacy laws, the judge ruled that there was a legal clash with Article 154 of the country’s civil code, relating to parental responsibilities.

Judge María del Rosario Cimadevila Cea said 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, proving that there was no intent to ‘discover secrets or infringe on the person’s privacy without permission’, a crime which according to Article 197 of Spain’s penal code can carry a four-year prison sentence.

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