A court in the UAE jailed a woman for three months for looking through her husband’s phone without him knowing.
The woman’s husband filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of violating his privacy, and she was put on trial.
A court in Ras Al Khaimah – the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates and known for its Arabian Gulf beaches – found her guilty.
In his statement made against her, the man said his wife went through his phone and copied all the data to another device in order to search through the information at a later date.
The husband made the complaint after his wife was said to have scrolled through his phone contents while he was asleep.
She was said to have then transferred pictures and chats to her phone to show her siblings.
She claimed her husband had given her his password and allowed her to look at his phone since she had caught him chatting with other women before.
The UAE’s has strict cybercrime laws, especially when it comes to protecting the privacy of individuals online.
Some on Twitter defended the wife, with one poster added: ‘If she wasn’t suspicious over something, she wouldn’t have gone through his phone. Isn’t it shameful for him to jail his own wife?’
But others said she deserved to be jailed, with one saying: ‘She deserves this. No one told her to go through his phone.’
Speaking to Emarat Al Youm, lawyers Raed Al Awlaki and Mohammad Jad Al Mawla explained that under the country’s laws, it’s illegal to go through anyone’s phone without their permission.
Even in married couples it is still an offence for either husband or wife to search each other’s phone, even if one suspects their spouse of cheating.
It is also considered a violation of an adult’s personal online privacy if any of their information is looked at in secret by a partner, friend, relative, parent or work colleague.
In August, president Sheikh Khalifa issued new cybercrime laws which could see criminals face jail terms of up to 25 years.