OnlyFans is a subscription-based service that showcases all kinds of content, although more recently pornography seems to be the most popular content. With the move towards pornographic images, this raises the question of what OnlyFans are doing to protect its users from a security and data protection standpoint.
OnlyFans have introduced a two-step verification option to try to protect its content creators. However, one of the greatest risks to content creators is people screenshotting their content and sharing it with others.
The simple answer is yes screenshotting is allowed. Section 8.2.2 of the Terms of Service confirms that you can take screenshots for your own personal and non-commercial use. You, however, are not allowed to reproduce, publish or distribute the screenshots. If you are found to be reproducing, publishing, or distributing the screenshots OnlyFans may step in and suspend your account.
Whilst OnlyFans will step in and suspend the account of someone found to be reproducing, publishing, or distributing screenshots this is unlikely to be of much comfort to the content creator. What other courses of action are therefore available to a content creator in such circumstances?
Breach of GDPR
The screenshotting and distribution of content from OnlyFans may potentially be a breach of GDPR. We have considered the position in this respect below.
The information contained within the screenshot will likely show the individual in question and therefore would be considered personal data under Article 4(1) of the UK GDPR as it “relates to an identified or identifiable natural person”.
To be caught under the provisions of the UK GDPR you must then be able to demonstrate that the data is being processed. Article 4(2) of the UK GDPR defines processing as:
“any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data… such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaption or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available…”. The screenshotting and distributing of OnlyFans content would involve collecting, storing, and disclosing the data and therefore would fall within the definition of processing.
It is possible to process data lawfully under the UK GDPR only if one or more of the following applies:
(a) Consent of the data subject;
(b) Processing allowed by virtue of contractual term;
(c) Legal obligation;
(d) Vital interests;
(e) Public task; and/or
(f) Legitimate interests.
The only potential lawful grounds in the case of the content in question would be consent and/or contract. As set out above, the contractual terms on Only Fans regarding screenshotting are limited in scope and the consent of the content creator will only be to allow the content to be used for the purposes set out in the terms.
The distributor of the images would therefore be bound by the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the data subject could enforce their rights under the UK GDPR and/or DPA 2018. Such rights may include the right to rectification, the right to erasure, and the right to compensation.
How can Nelsons help
Should you wish to discuss your rights in the event someone is using images of you for a purpose that you are not happy with, please do not hesitate to contact Ruby or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester, or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form.