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The first important provision relates to intercepting, recording, streaming or distribution information issued in a private context without the author’s consent. Such behavior is now punished with imprisonment ranging between six months to three years and a fine ranging between MAD2,000 to MAD20,000. Intercepting is defined as capturing information not initially intended to the recipient.
This includes voice mail or digital messages. Recording is defined as the will to record conversation or information from a third party in a private or confidential context. This applies even if the author (who recorded the conversation) is involved in the conversation.
Streaming is defined as transmitting to third party information or speech issued by somebody in a
private context. Streaming is punished when done through digital or audio means including through smartphone apps.
Second provision is related to recording, streaming or distributing photos of individuals in a private context without their consent. Sanction of it is the same than the one described above.
Three conditions must be met in order for this behavior to be sanctioned: (i) using camera, phone or computer to take the photo, (ii) the victim must be in a private place; Private places include hotel room, garage, private pool or a car (even if the car was at a public location), and (iii) photo was taken without the victim’s consent.
Third provision relates to streaming or distributing fake editing including words and photos of a person without its consent. Such behavior is now punished with imprisonment ranging between one to three years and a fine ranging between MAD2,000 to MAD20,000.
Fake editing is defined as assembling images and words from different contexts in order to give it a
specific meaning. This may be sanctioned even if the photo was taken in a public place or words pronounced in public.
The infringement exists even if the person who distributed or streamed the fake editing was not the author of it. It also exists if (i) the fake editing is done through alteration of voice or face using technologies such as Photoshop for example, or (ii) streaming and editing a real content but with modification of the natural sequence in order to alter the meaning or the truth of the content.
Fourth provision is related to distribution or streaming of false facts or false allegations.Such behavior is now punished with imprisonment ranging between one to three years and a fine ranging between MAD2,000 to MAD20,000. This may be applicable to photos, words or false information.
The offence must have been committed through social networks, computer system, etc. Verbal distribution would not fall under this provision but would rather be considered as defamation. Furthermore, an author must have the intent to invade privacy. Without intent there would be no sanction.
All of the above sanctions are raised to imprisonment ranging between one to five years and a fine ranging between MAD5,000 to MAD20,000 in case of recidivism or if the offense was committed by a spouse,
a ex-spouse, a fiancé, ascendants, descendants, tutors, or against a minor or a woman because of gender.
Jaafar Laidi holds a Maîtrise en Droit Privé from Hassan II. University (Casablanca) and a Diplôme d´Études Supérieures Spécialisées in International Business Law from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France). Mr Laidi is a qualified lawyer in Morocco. In 2001 he joined the Arthur Andersen Casablanca office, which merged with Ernst & Young in 2004. He was promoted to the role of Manager in Ernst & Young in 2005 and has focussed his career on Corporate, Real Estate and Labour Law. Mr Laidi has also worked on projects concerning the public sector (administrative concessions, tourism development projects, etc.). He is a fluent speaking of Arabic, English, French and Spanish. In 2005 Mr Laidi was appointed Legal Manager of the Garrigues office in Casablanca and continues in this capacity.
Written by Jaafar Laidi
Since September 2018, new legal provisions contained in the Moroccan Criminal Code “Code Pénal” entered into force. These provisions tackle invasion of privacy in particular, using digital means and social media. The new legislation was intended to protect woman against all means of violence. However, the head of the Public Prosecution department issued a note last December stating that the new legal provisions also apply to all genders.