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Frequently Asked Questions

Please scroll down below to view FAQ regarding NCDII. If you have further questions, please contact us using the form below.

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend consulting with a lawyer to get legal advice about your specific situation.

What is an "intimate image"?

While the definition of an "intimate image" may differ under various laws or statutes, this term generally refers to images that relate to the core of a person's privacy interest. Such images are generally understood to include visual recordings of a person made by any means, including a photograph, film or video recording and usually depict explicit sexual activity or nudity or partial nudity. Under some laws, the term may include both real and fake images, such as altered images, video or sound (known as "deep fakes").

By way of example, British Columbia's Intimate Images Protection Act defines "intimate image" as follows:

"...a visual recording or visual simultaneous representation of an individual, whether or not the individual is identifiable and whether or not the image has been altered in any way, in which the individual is or is depicted as

(a) engaging in a sexual act,

(b) nude or nearly nude, or

(c) exposing the individual's genital organs, anal region or breasts, and in relation to which the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy at,

(d) in the case of a recording, the time the recording was made and, if distributed, the time of the distribution, and

(e) in the case of a simultaneous representation, the time the simultaneous representation occurred."

 

To note: Under the IIPA,

"depict" means to represent in 

(a) a recording of a still image,

(b) a recording of a moving image, or 

(c) a simultaneous representation.

"simultaneous representation" means an image distributed through live transmission, whether or not the image is recorded. 

What does the "nonconsensual distribution of images without consent" mean?

NCDII involves the sharing of an intimate image (see definition above) of an individual without that individual’s consent. Sharing might involve simply showing the image to another person, though it more commonly involves distributing the image or video to a larger audience via text, social media, or some other online forum.

Is it illegal for someone to share or distribute (or threaten to distribute) an intimate image of someone else?

If someone has distributed an intimate image of you without your consent, or even threatened to distribute an intimate image of you, this is against the law. If this has happened to you, you are not alone, and it doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. This can happen to anyone, at any age. 

If you shared an image of yourself, it doesn’t mean you agreed to let someone share it with anyone else or post it online. Even if you did consent to them sharing or posting it, you’re allowed to change your mind. Consent means the same thing as permission or agreeing.

There are also options to help stop your images being shared and to help you get them taken down if they have been posted online. 

What is a "reasonable expectation of privacy"?

"Reasonable expectation of privacy" is a legal term. While a person usually has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a nude or sexual image of yourself, it can sometimes depend on the context. For example, whether a reasonable expectation of privacy exists may depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • who is in the image

  • where the image was taken

  • whether you agreed that the person could share the image in the way that they shared it.

Note: It is important to remember that even if you shared an intimate image with someone, it does not mean that they can share it with others without your consent. You can also agree for an image to be shared, and then change your mind. You are allowed to change your mind at any time.

How can I get a social media platform or other third-party (e.g. search engine) to remove an intimate image of me from the Internet?

If someone shared an intimate image of you online, there are options to help stop your images being shared and to help you get them taken down if they have been posted online. Depending on which country and/or province you live, the answer to this question may vary. 

 

Click here to view a list of resources about how to request the takedown of an intimate image by a social media or other third-party platform (e.g. Google, Meta, Instagram, Twitter, PornHub). Most platforms have dedicated online forms for making such requests.

Reporting Tips:

  • For information about how to report (and request the take-down of) your intimate image on various social media platforms (facebook, instagram, tiktok, etc.), click here.

  • For information and links to report (and request the take-down of) your intimate image on various adult/pornography sites (pornhub, xhamster, x videos, etc.), click here

 

  • When reporting (and/or requesting the take-down of) your intimate image, please consider the following:​

    • Use private browsing mode (e.g., Incognito) on your device when making reports.

    • Use a burner email address.​

    • Use the reports for "report inappropriate content".

    • Provide a direct URL link to where the images have been shared.

    • Be clear, concise, and polite in your message. Here is an example: 

      • "Hi, my intimate images have been shared on your site without my consent. This is against the law in the Canada and I am requesting the images/videos to be removed along with any associated thumbnails. I would appreciate prompt removal of the content and notification when this has been done. Thank you".​

  • Registering your intimate image as a hash:

    • If you are 18 years or over, you can register your intimate image as a "hash" so that it cannot be posted or reposted on some platforms (including facebook and instagram). Click here to register your image through stopNCDII.org.

    • If you are under 18 years of age, you can register your intimate image here through Project Arachnid. Canadian youth can also get help with image removal here.

What are some examples of intimate images?

“Sexting” or “sending nudes” can be one way you share an intimate image with someone. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. But if someone shares your image without your consent, this is a violation of your privacy rights. The image or video doesn’t even have to have been taken in a sexual setting.

 

It’s important to remember that what happened to you isn’t your fault. Many people have intimate images of themselves shared without their consent. For example:

  • “Revenge porn” where you are or were in a relationship with someone who threatens to send an intimate image of you, to hurt you

  • "Sextortion” where someone demands money and says if you don’t pay it, they’ll send your intimate images to your friends, family, work, or post it on the internet

  • Being pressured or bullied into taking an intimate picture, or sending it to someone

  • AI-generated intimate images

  • Hidden cameras or hacking

Who can I contact if I need legal advice about intimate images or NCDII?

It is important to note that any information on this website is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend consulting with a lawyer to get legal advice about your specific situation.

If you have any questions about intimate images or privacy rights, you can contact us using the form below. Depending on where you live, there are other resources you can reach out to as well to get help. For example, if you live in the province of British Columbia, you can contact the Civil Resolutions Tribunal.  If you live in another Canadian province, please see our overview of provincial laws here

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