If you are a French parent who likes posting their kid’s photos all over the internet, we have same bad news for you.
The Telegraph noticed that the privacy laws in France are pretty strict. How strict, you ask? Strict to the point that your offspring can sue you for infringing on their right to privacy if you posted photos of them when they were younger. And this is not a small offence either; penalties could ramp up to €45,000 plus a year in prison (where no photo sharing is allowed at all!). The judge would have to be convinced that you published some of your kids without their consent, but, who decides what’s private? And show me the parent that asks for permission before every my-kid-is-making-soap-bubbles-and-he-is-so-cute photo upload, and I will show you one kid who’s gonna spend years in therapy.
Eric Delcroix, an expert on internet law and ethics told the Telegraph that
In a few years, children could easily take their parents to court for publishing photos of them when they were younger
Well, I did not sue my parents for showing the family album to all my girlfriends where I was taking a bath when I was little. Actually, thinking about it now, it may not be such a bad idea. Would have definitely saved me a ton of embarrassment. Ok, I am not suing my parents, but I do think that in today’s age of sharing, some implications of posting your kids photos to the nets are not obvious.
The easy one is, of course, who has access to those photos, and if you share your kid’s photos publicly, it means that pedophiles will have access to those as well, and the French police indeed warned about that.
But another reason is that your kid’s photo will forever remain online and when they grow up, some of those photos may not do them the best of service, no matter how well intended the initial upload was.
Facebook noticed that issue (well, Facebook notices everything, don’t they?), and considering putting up some precautions to help parents.
Jay Parikh, a vice-president of Facebook, said that Facebook is considering setting up a warning system for oversharing photos of kids:
If I was putting online a photo of my kids playing in the park, and I accidentally shared it with everyone, the system could say: “Hey, wait a minute, this is a picture of your children. Usually you only send them to members of your family. Are you sure you want to do this?
But to return to the main point of the article, if you kids get upset with their photos on the “Johnny playing with the dog” album, they can sue you and can possibly win.
Look at the bright side though, if everyone toned down the number of kids images that they upload, the number of unfriends will surely decrease.