Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Complaints Received in the Past Three Years Regarding the Unauthorised Use of Images on Social Media Platforms, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 11 February 2019


Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the total number of complaints received in the past three years regarding the use of images without authorisation or permission on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat; and (b) whether there are any plans to enact laws to regulate such use when images are misappropriated and used to offend or insult the modesty of a woman in light of the emergence of accounts like SgJCBabes.



  1. The unauthorised use of images per se is not a criminal offence. Police do not track the number of such cases.


  2. However, depending on the contents of the images and how they are used, the person may be committing an offence of insulting the modesty of a woman under section 509 of the Penal Code.


  3. Even where no Penal Code offence has been uncovered, if the images cause the victim harassment, alarm or distress, the victim can apply for a Protection Order under the Protection from Harassment Act for the images to be taken down. The victim can also lodge a Magistrate’s Complaint to seek redress or compensation.


Law and order