How comfortable do you feel having another parent share a photo of your child online?
It’s a question that is complex, and as a blogger, I will always ask the parent if I can share their child’s photo online. In most circumstances I won’t share them at all because I can’t always control who will see it.
Our Facebook feeds are often inundated with photos of new babies and children. Parents love to share photos of their child’s birthday party, which can often have other children in the photos. Have these parents considered whether they should get permission to share another child’s photo online?
Rachel Chappell, founder and publisher of North Shore Mums believes they should. Parents can be concerned the image could fall into the wrong hands.
“While, it’s quite common to [share] on your personal Facebook page, it would be completely inappropriate to post photos of other people’s children within a wider audience,” she told news.com.au.
“I think permission should always been requested. Obviously everyone has different opinions around the sharing of images online — some don’t mind at all, while others have real concerns about images of their children being in the public domain. A campaign that addresses the ‘seeking of permission’ would be really useful to raise awareness,” she said.
Mrs Chappell doesn’t mind if friends post photos of her children on their own personal Facebook page and changing the privacy setting to ‘friends only’.
“For example, of a child’s birthday party. If you didn’t know the parent very well, I think they should let you know they’re planning on posting photos, so that you have the opportunity to say if you’re not comfortable.”
Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, also agrees with this protocol.
“It really comes down to having respect for others’ privacy. Consider it from your own perspective, would you be comfortable having pictures of your family and children shared online? Adults should be sensitive to others concerns, and always get a parent’s consent before sharing. Individuals also need to look at the privacy setting of their accounts, is it at its most secure? In this way you protect your own privacy and that of your friends.”
Mr Pilgrim says once a photo is on the internet, it’s hard to be erased from the online environment.
“A photograph also contains information. It shows the child, it may identify a child and may contain inadvertent information, for example; it could reveal a medical condition, or a location, or the fact that the child regularly attends a sporting event. This could lead to a security issue for the child. Also, depending on the photo it may cause some form of harassment for the child. The child may not want it there in the future, yet once online the information will be there for a very long time.”
So the next time you upload photos sharing your child’s Birthday party, consider just sharing the photos without other children’s faces in them – or at least get permission for the photos to be shared on Facebook from the children’s parents.
Do you share photos of your friend’s kids on Facebook? Have you ever sought permission to share these images? What do you think the best protocol is for sharing photos of other children online?