B.C. proposes new law for sharing of intimate images online without permission

VICTORIA — British Columbia's attorney general has proposed a new bill to protect people against the sharing of their intimate images without permission, as police warn of the growing problem of so-called sextortion.

Niki Sharma told the legislature that the legislation would create new legal rights and remedies people could use to stop the distribution of their intimate images and to seek compensation for the harms it caused.

She tabled the Intimate Images Protection Act before a news conference where she will speak about the bill alongside Carol Todd, founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society.

It comes as police across Canada have issued cautions to parents and young people about the rise in online sextortion of youth, where criminals threaten to post sexual images unless they are given money.

Many Canadians learned of the risks of sextortion through Amanda Todd, the Port Coquitlam, B.C., teenager who died by suicide at age 15 in 2012, shortly after she posted about being tormented by an online predator.

Sharma says that if the bill is approved, the legislation will be retroactive or available to prosecutors back to the moment she tabled it on Monday.

"That means that people who distribute or threatened to distribute intimate images without consent are on notice that they will face new legal consequences, even if the wrongful conduct happens before the legislation comes into force," she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press