NZ women caught up in nude photo website

6:51 am on 13 October 2016

An Auckland woman whose name and photo were posted on a site where people trade nude pictures says she is hugely concerned and doesn't know how to get the picture taken down.

girl working on laptop

One woman did not know her photo had been posted until contacted by RNZ. Photo: 123RF

A Russian website which lets anonymous people post and trade nude photos and material anonymously has set up a New Zealand page and is using images without people knowing or giving permission.

One woman had her Facebook profile picture, which shows her in a swimsuit, posted on the website alongside a request for nude photos.

When we contacted the woman, who RNZ has chosen not to name, she said she did not know her photo had been posted, and would like the site taken down.

"The creepiest thing about seeing my photo was that someone had stolen it from Facebook and then asked the other pigs on there if they had photos of me, using my full name and saying where I am from.

"Luckily I know there are no naked photos of me anywhere, but that is not the point. These people are animals."

Another Auckland woman told RNZ she found a nude photo of a friend on the site. The woman's permission had not been given for the photo to be published.

On another image, of a topless woman, which showed her face, a person left a comment on the site saying "I know her - do you have any more photos?" The anonymous poster replied "Yes, there's heaps more out there".

Privacy lawyer Kathyrn Dalziel said despite the tag of anonymity people should realise they could be tracked.

"I do think it is a high-risk strategy to be a part of any of these types of websites.

"New Zealand has a raft of laws which can led to prosecutions so I don't think it is even worth the risk of being involved."

She encouraged women who fell victim to the site to make a formal complaint to police.

"The picture might breach our classifications legislation and may amount to an indecent publication.

"It could be a breach of the Crimes Act in the way that it was photographed, if it is harassment, or a breach of our harmful digital communication legislation."

NetSafe chief executive Martin Cocker said the website differed from message boards where nude photos are sometimes posted.

"In this case you've got a site designed specifically for posting intimate images - self-made intimate images - and then you've got a New Zealand page to localise the content to New Zealand.

"The safest thing to do is not to produce these images, but the reality is that people do take these photos and share them with their partners.

"In some cases nothing happens but in relationships that break down some people decide to post the photos on the internet."

Police were unable to say whether they had had complaints about the website but said anyone unhappy about a post should contact them.

Internal Affairs is not investigating the site as it says the material is not considered objectionable under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act.

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