This might sound a bit extreme, but indeed, in France at least, posting pictures of your children on Facebook could land you a fine of 45,000 Euros and/or up to one year in jail. As crazy as it might sound there’s actually a reason for this.
First of all, according to the country’s privacy laws, it is actually illegal to post pictures of others without their consent. Therefore, violating the law comes with its own consequences. Even if the people in question are your children, nothing stops them from suing you in the future if they feel that their privacy has been violated.
Besides that, this also stems from an attempt to protect children from online dangers, such as sexual predators. In a post on February 23rd, the National Gendarmerie posted a statement in response to the “Motherhood Challenge” which entails mothers posting 3 photos of them and their kids and tagging 10 moms they know to do the same. They said that posting pictures of your children on the internet, although understandable because you’re proud of your kids and you somewhat want to show off, is not without danger.
Children, at that age, are going through phases during which they’re extremely sensitive to their image, and practices such as these are akin to creating a “digital record” that will follow them their entire life. They may not want to be photographed and they may like it even less if these photographs were to be published.
But Facebook itself seems to be taking steps towards attempting to protect children’s privacy. Facebook’s Jay Parikh, hinted at the implementation of a new tool in a conference at Bloomsbury , on November 11th last year. “If I were to upload a photo of my kids playing at the park and I accidentally had it shared with the public, this system could say: Hey wait a minute, this is a photo of your kids, normally you post this to just your family members, are you sure you want to do this?,” said Parikh, according to the Evening Standard.
Privacy on the internet is an issue that doesn’t seem close to being resolved. But as we move onwards, let’s see what the future holds and if we can take the appropriate steps to limit damage.