Parents in France can now face fines of up to $AUD53,000 and even potentially jail time for posting pictures of their children on social media without their consent.
In the first laws of their kind, French authorities are aiming to protect the privacy of children in the future by allowing them the ability to sue their parents for breach of privacy over images mum and dad may have uploaded to sites like Facebook and Twitter.
‘In a few years, children could easily take their parents to court for publishing photos of them when they were younger”, Law and Ethics expert Eric Del Croix told Le Figaro News. “ Children at certain stages do not wish to be photographed or still less for those photos to be public” he says.
The laws will make it possible for adults to look back on their parents social media accounts and to be awarded compensation for photographs which were posted without their consent.
It’s a real wake up call to parents (myself included) about how our social media activity now will have an impact on our kids in the future. I would hate for my children to be embarrassed or teased about something that I mindlessly posted on my Facebook account many years prior, although as we know, nothing really dies in a digital world and all of the pictures posted today will still be able to be accessed in years to come.
It seems that a lot of parents are actually just following a trend when it comes to putting up some cute pics of their kids online. In a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, it was revealed that 74 per cent of people who said they put up pictures of their kids did it more so to ‘do what everyone else was doing’ despite having concerns about internet safety. More worrying was the revelation that 51 per cent of these people posted pictures of their children with identifying information and easily traceable locations.
As a mother of three with active social media accounts I have been carefully thinking about my online updates quite a lot recently. This news has prompted me to spend the weekend removing pictures of my kids from all of my social media. I would hate for my actions today to have a negative impact on their future.
We discussed this issue on the latest episode of This Glorious Mess. Listen to Holly and Andrew talk about it here:
Do you agree with the new laws in France?