THERE is so much happening in the digital world today. As a good platform to share memories, parents are tempted to post even pictures of their young ones on social media.
But do you know the legal implications for doing so?
Thanks to smartphones and social media, capturing a child’s life and sharing it with friends and family is as easy as snapping a picture and sharing it.
On average, parents upload close to 1 500 images of their children before they are even five years old. It is called “sharenting”.
Advocate Jackie Nagtegaal from Law For All told SunWellbeing that Mzansi parents risk civil claims and criminal charges due to sharenting.
“While no such case has been documented in South Africa, 2016 saw an 18-year-old Austrian woman suing her parents for sharing ‘embarrassing’ baby pictures of her with over 700 friends on Facebook without her permission,” she said.
The woman reportedly asked her folks to remove the images, but they refused.
Nagtegaal said this concern was because of the increasing role social media played in the sexual exploitation of children.
“Parents have a legal duty to protect their little ones’ right to privacy and security.
“Sexual predators are making use of online platforms to trawl parents’ profiles to find pictures of children, download them and distribute them to paedophilic social media groups,” warned Nagtegaal.
And another worrying fact is that the scourge of human trafficking is on the increase.
Law For All has some safety tips for sharing online:
- Be mindful of who might see the photos, who else is in the picture and whether or not it can put your child in danger.
- If you are posting images of other people and their children, make sure you get their permission to do so.
- Check the social media platform’s terms and conditions and statement of rights and responsibilities. They often have the right to copy and use photos and videos.
- Schools often take pictures to celebrate achievements or commemorate events. They should have consent policies in place as well as for storing videos, pictures and sharing on social media.