Dani Mathers poses during a luncheon on the garden grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California May 14, 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian)
This was the picture that shocked both the United States and Canada: Playboy Playmate of the Year 2015, Dani Mathers, took a photo of a naked woman at her gym and posted it on her social media accounts with the caption “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”
Needless to say, Mathers received a lot of backlash for taking the photo in which the unsuspecting woman was body shamed. She was publicly called out for her behaviour and she lost her job on a radio show.
Even worse, not only did L.A. Fitness permanently ban her from all their locations but they also filed a police report against her.
Now Mathers could be looking at facing a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles, if the woman whom she body shamed were to come forward and make a complaint against her.
What would happen if this same situation occurred in Canada?
Halifax, N.S. lawyer David TS Fraser told Global News, “In Canada this would be a crime.” He adds, “taking a photograph is an offence if it’s done without the person’s consent and it’s done kind of covertly.”
Indeed, in March of 2015, it became illegal to publicize intimate images of an individual in Canada when the individual in the images has not consented and it is considered a type of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying involves some type of harassment of a person or persons with the use of technology, such as posting an intimate picture or video of someone without their permission on Facebook or Snapchat, which causes them humiliation, embarrassment or feelings of degradation.
See: Post online at your own peril: individuals can now sue for invasion of privacy
The punishment for distributing intimate images without consent is quite steep. A person who is convicted of the offence could be imprisoned for up to five years and have their computer, cell phone or other devices seized.
Not only could a person who posts intimate images without consent, face the wrath of the law but they could also be sued by the victim(s) in civil court.
Just this year, an Ontario court decision saw a judge award a woman over $140,000, because her ex-boyfriend posted an intimate video of her on a pornography website without her permission.
Mathers claims that she posted the photo by “accident” but that likely won’t get her out of hot water if the unknown woman decides to come forward.