French police tell parents to stop posting Facebook photos of their kids


The Verge:

French police tell parents to stop posting Facebook photos of their kids

France’s national police has urged parents to think twice about posting photos of their children on Facebook, saying the images could jeopardize the privacy and security of their kids. Authorities say that if shared widely, the images could attract sexual predators, while others have warned of the social or psychological problems that children could face later in life. One French expert says parents may even face future lawsuits from their children for violating their privacy.

“Protect your children!” France’s national gendarmerie wrote in a Facebook post last month, warning of the recent “Motherhood Challenge” viral campaign that encouraged users to post photos of themselves with their kids. “You can all be proud moms and dads to your magnificent children, but be careful,” the post continues. “We remind you that posting photos of your kids to Facebook is not without danger!” A regional branch of the gendarmerie went even further, imploring parents in all-caps to “STOP” the practice altogether.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, French internet law expert Éric Delcroix said it’s likely that baby photos published today could lead to lawsuits years from now. Under French privacy law, anyone convicted of publishing and distributing images of another person without their consent can face up to one year in prison and a fine of €45,000. That would apply to parents publishing images of their kids, as well. Viviane Gelles, an attorney specializing in internet law, tells the newspaper that French law makes clear that “parents are charged with protecting the image of their children.”

France’s data protection authority has urged parents to implement stronger privacy controls to limit the audience for their photos, and Facebook has worked in recent years to simplify its privacy settings. Jay Parikh, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, recently said that the site is considering a new feature that would automatically alert parents before they share photos of their kids with larger audiences.

The last point is the only one that makes sense, i.e. changing your setting so that only friends can see your stuff. Even so, it’s friends and family who pose the greatest danger to children.
As for not posing pictures of another person without their permission, what if you go on vacation and take a selfie in a public place, how do you get permission from all the strangers in the background?


We must remember that Facebook is a commercial site. It exists to extract personal information from the public that can be sold to advertisers and others. It is a privacy nightmare from beginning to end.


It’s good advice. I don’t understand why anyone would put their children’s photos on the internet, not the least of which on Facebook which has a history of modifying their privacy policies as they see fit. I mean I’ve got friends who give their little kids their own Facebook pages the day they’re born so as to start creating their digital footprint before they’ve even grown their first tooth. It makes no sense to me. :rolleyes:


Plus, half of peoples ‘friends’ on FB are not actually friends, most people I know will just accept any and all incoming friend requests, no matter whether they know them or not, everyone seems to want a high friend count, they dont consider who some of these people may be. and then once you become a ‘friend’, you can learn just about anything from the stuff they post, address, place of employment, school, etc. It could really lead to a lot of problems if the wrong person got ahold of such information.


If it weren’t for baby photos I’d seriously consider ditching facebook. As it stands there’s far too much cuteness to close my account.


Yep. Facebook isn’t the product, we are.


I’ve run into an odd thing with a couple of my friends who still want to post the occasional photo of their kids but who don’t want them generally online. They’ve come up with aliases for when they refer to the kids directly or when they post that rare photo. They’re bizarre aliases that I doubt the kids would ever associate with later in life. Don’t know what effect they will have but it’s far more responsible I think than what far too many parents do if they put stuff about their kids on line, which is to use real names and post far too much about them. I mean I have one friend who had made his daughter a FB page before she’d been born 2 hours. She had more posts in her first 24 hours of life than I had in my first 2 months of using Facebook. And some where fairly intimate photos of baby and mom that I probably wouldn’t be comfortable showing family never mind friends of friends of friends on Facebook.


…Personally, if I see another baby picture, uploaded for the 1000th time, but from a slightly different angle,… I am going to scream.


I may be forced to eat these words in a few weeks, but frankly I agree. Babies are adorable, and more so to their own parents then to anyone else. But they can only make so many expressions or do so much particularly in the first few months. After a while it’s really just the same picture with a slightly different outfit on.


I am not French but I love posting pictures of my son, Colton. If we didn’t post them to Facebook, our family members probably wouldn’t see them. Our family members all live at least an hour away from us and so they can’t come and see us all the time.


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