Can your ex-spouse circulate your private information?

“My ex-husband still has access to our shared cloud account. Unbeknown to me this meant he could see all my back-ups of messages, photos and other personal information. Our divorce did not end well and he is now sharing private and personal information of me with third parties to embarrass me and to try and portray me as a bad parent. What can I do to stop him?”

An option available for you to stop your ex-husband would be to obtain an interdict against him to stop him from further circulating private information about you. Depending on the nature of the information disseminated, and the specific details of your case a claim for damages may also be possible.

Everyone has the right to dignity and privacy and to have such respected and protected against violations, which includes the right to not have your personal communication infringed. As such our courts have held that private information obtained or accessed by an ex-spouse and shared with the intention to harm, humiliate or bring disrepute would infringe on these rights and as such an ex-spouse can be interdicted from copying, using, sharing, disseminating, distributing and/or publishing the applicants private and confidential information. 

Another available option could also be to approach the Domestic Violence Court for a protection order against an ex-spouse if the use of such unlawfully gained private information is intended to harass and intimidate the ex-spouse.

From the above it should be clear that you have remedies and that such conduct can be stopped. Make contact with your attorney or family law specialist to discuss the various options available to you to stop the unwanted conduct.

November 10, 2020

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