People posting pictures of others on social media networks without their permission could be jailed for six months and fined up to Dh500,000 under the UAE's IT law.
Many social media users are not aware of such a law, says a senior Dubai Police officer.
"Some people do not know that if they photograph a person and post the picture on social networks or other electronic devices, it becomes a punishable crime according to the UAE law,” Major General Mohammed Al Shareef, Assistant Police Commander for Administration said, after launching a social media awareness campaign.
"This crime involves a jail term of six months and a fine of Dh150,000-500,000. We need the public to know that this is a big crime in the UAE because some people do it for fun without knowing they will be prosecuted.”
Another officer warned parents against allowing children to have their own social media account as they could be victims of blackmail and other threats.
“They should control their children because letting them have their own social network account could make them easy prey to blackmail and other crime,” said Mohammed Abdullah, Director, Decision Support Centre, Dubai Police.
He said many countries enforce certain protocols, curbing the use of social media by children till a specific age in order to protect them from possible threats.