At present, the importance of the different communication channels (text messages, WhatsApp, social networks, …) makes a type of crime less frequent before, is increasingly common.

We refer to the crime of discovery and disclosure of secrets regulated in article 197 and following of the Penal Code, where is defined as a crime the action carried out by who, without the consent of the aggrieved person (victim), seizes their letters, papers, messages or any other document (also digital) of a personal nature; or intercepts any type of communication of the victim, or uses devices of listening, transmission, recording or reproduction of sound or image; always with the aim of discovering secrets or violating the privacy of the victim.

Also included as criminal conduct is the seizure, use or modification, to the detriment of a third party, reserved personal or family data of another registered in files or computer media; as well as who accesses them by any means and who alters or uses them to the detriment of the owner of the data or a third party.

The basic penalty to be imposed for such criminal acts is imprisonment for one to four years and a fine of 12 to 24 months.

The protected legal right of this criminal type is privacy as a fundamental right included in article 18 of our Constitution, “the right to honor, personal and family privacy and one’s own image is guaranteed.”

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