YouTube

An anonymous YouTube user has had their account suspended and their videos removed, as secret videos of women on the streets of Dublin were discovered.

The poster was following women on the street, filming them from behind and then posting the videos on YouTube using lurid and descriptive titles on the videos.

In one of the videos, a girl is filmed walking the length of Grafton Street in the city center. Her face is shown. In another, a woman is filmed shopping with her children.

The 14 videos were all filmed from hip height; the women were unaware that they were being videoed even though the camera was just inches away.

Margaret Martin, Director of Women's Aid said that the emergence of these videos was a very worrying development.

She said, "Women's Aid has been made aware of this disturbing practice where women are being filmed, unbeknownst to them, and sexually objectified online.

"It is clear that many women are being subjected to unacceptable abuse and objectification through technology by their partners, boyfriends and husbands and by strangers in the street. This is totally unacceptable."

Karen Murray, lawyer and lecturer with the National College of Ireland, said "This type of thing is a grey area and depends on a number of different factors. But essentially if the person in the video is anyway identifiable, then there is a clear breach of the Data Protection Act 1988-2003.

"There also could be human rights breaches. The European Union Convention of Human Rights article 8 protects a person's private and family life and section 40 in the constitution gives people innumerable rights to privacy.

"Although, if the person filmed is not identifiable then there is no remedy," she added.

A spokesperson from said "YouTube is a community site used by millions of people in very positive ways.

"Sadly, as with any form of communication, there is a tiny minority of people who try to break the rules. When people see content that they think is inappropriate they can flag it and our staff then review it.

"If the content breaks our terms then we remove it and if a user repeatedly breaks the rules we disable their account."