Toshe Proeski and Alexander the Great resurrected on “Facebook”?!
The case with Toshe Proeski’s profile is probably not a classic
personal data theft or abuse. The creators of the profile are most
likely fans of the singer, who are convinced that they are actually
doing something good.
You can now add Toshe Proeski, Alexander of Macedon or Napoleon Bonaparte in your list of Facebook friends (or some other virtual communication network). The names of people who have long been dead are sometimes used as nicknames or artistic pseudonyms by people who are publishing their own personal information, data and photographs, but the creation of a posthumous user profile of a person who has been dead for less than a year is utterly morbid and distasteful.
We are aware that several profiles with Toshe’s name exist on various networks and we have reacted on this abuse several times now. Some of them are still available on the internet – says Andrej Nikolovski, director of the Toshe Proeski Foundation, in charge of protecting the persona and work of the megastar.
DPDP receiving an increasing number of complaints
The Directorate for Personal Data Protection is receiving more and more abuse reports, mostly related to the virtual communication networks. Except for creating false profiles, such as the profiles of Karolina Gocheva, Ljube Boshkovski, president Branko Crvenkovski, former president Kiro Gligorov and many other public personas, the Directorate receives reports for the publishing of photographs taken from the clubs and cafes without prior permission on the nightlife portals.
DPDP responds to all the reports for personal data abuse it is receiving. If a fake user profile has been published on a Macedonian domain or any other kind of abuse has been reported, we have the right to penalize. However, when it comes to a world network, and the domain is registered outside the country, we are powerless – says Elena Stojanovska, public relations officer of the Directorate for Personal Data Protection.
Nevertheless, the DPDP sends written reactions to the administrators of these networks in the countries where they are registered and so far they are responding positively to our requests.
However, according to Stojanovska, this only depends on their good will, since they have no legal obligation towards DPDP as an organ of the Republic of Macedonia. User profiles can be created on these websites, where people register by filling out several fields with personal data, some of which are mandatory. With the registration, the user agrees with the networks’ conditions which could actually mean that the administrators can do what they please, except if they get a court warrant for removing certain contents.
The case with Toshe Proeski’s profile is probably not a classic personal data theft or abuse. The creators of the profile are most likely fans of the singer, who are convinced that they are actually doing something good.
Maybe the authors of these fake profiles had the best intentions, but as the old saying goes: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. The creation of false profiles on the social interaction portals is not in accordance with the provisions of the Law on personal data protection. In addition, the case with Toshe’s profile is horrid, having in mind the fact that not even a year has passed since his death – says Filip Stojanovski from Metamorphosis – Foundation for Sustainable Solutions.
According to him, it would be best if the fans that want to honour the deceased person open a fan website, a group of virtual communications networks (such as the ones that already exist) instead of a posthumous profile.
Otherwise, these fans of Toshe would actually be the greatest foes of his copyrighted works – as long as they are sharing them without permission – Stojanovski explains.
Source: Nova Makedonija „Тоше и Александар Македонски воскреснати на „Фејсбук“?!“ Number 21506, October 4, 2008