Protect the privacy of children
- +In the past, the holiday photos with the children were also taken and shown to the family, right?
- That is true, and everyone will remember a picture from a holiday that he or she rather does not want to see again. A big difference here is that this picture was on paper (or slide) and was only shown to your family or on your wedding day. This means only for a limited and known group of persons. After showing this picture, it was also gone, and it went back into the collection of your mom or dad.
With current digitalization, it does not work like that anymore. The sharing of the picture is no longer limited to the known group of family and friends but goes further than that. This picture will remain on the internet after sharing and everyone can use the picture as he or she pleases. The picture does not disappear anymore. It is often said that the internet does not forget, and this is indeed the case.
You will thus be confronted with this picture for the rest of your life, and people with good, but also with bad intentions, can use it as they please. Try to think about whether your son or daughter would like to be confronted with a picture of when they were 2 and were playing naked in the garden in the swimming pool, on their first job interview.
- +My friends' group is private on social media, right?
- People often say that in their group(s) on social media, there are only people that they know. But ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I the only one who can add people?
- Am I certain that, what is shared in the group, is not shared by anyone?
- Is everyone still good friends in this group, or have some of them rather become acquaintances?
You will see that you have less control over it than you think.
- +What are the terms and conditions (requirements) of the platform upon which you post?
- Are these platforms processing my personal data correctly? Also, think about copyright and portrait rights? It concerns free apps, but they need to earn their money in some way. They will probably use you for this purpose. They would not give you these functions if there wasn’t a good reason for it. You can assume that the information on your pictures will be used. This can be done in a way that you like, but often also in a way that you do not like.
- +Tips from PaSMaN?
- What you believe is a good idea today, often is not such a good idea anymore tomorrow. Take this into account and always think about how your kid is going to feel about it later on. If he/she does not like you to share something, then don’t. Keep the picture offline and show it to your family without using social media.
Also look at your child as someone with an opinion, especially when they reach a certain age, you can make this discussable. You often notice that you can already inform 5-year-old’s on certain things, and as they grow older, you can give them more information on how to handle their information. This also means asking their opinion whether they would like it if you share a cute picture of them.
Those cute child pictures on social media harm nobody?
As a proud parent it is very comprehensible that you want to share those cute pictures of your newborn or your cute toddler with the world on Instagram or Facebook. In the end, it is a very simple way to reach all of your friends and family. But is that very wise? We give some reasons why not to do it:
- Social media are not private!
Even though you share pictures in a closed group or you send them to someone individually, afterwards you no longer have any control over what happens with the pictures of your child. Your followers can do whatever they like with the picture. Not that your friends are not to be trusted, but can you say with certainty that you know all of your hundreds of followers that well that you are sure that there is no-one in the group that you did not invite yourself?
The setting of groups on social media can often be changed by multiple administrators and often you are not the only one who can add or delete people. If someone did not use the right settings or did not attach a lot of attention to it, this can lead to more visibility than you expected.
- Your child will become an adult at some point
As long as your child is a minor, as a parent or guardian you are responsible for what is possible and not on social media. But the actions you take are not limited to the minority of your child. Once they grow up and grow up, are they just as satisfied with the photos you shared and which are now spread over the internet?
More and more people are also being sought out by future employers, for example. When all these photos become visible, there are often some images that give a distorted picture of your child or the adults he has become now. So first think carefully about whether this is wise in the long run.
- Social media receive publication rights of your pictures, through their general terms
So what, would you think, what difference does it make? A lot! Social media can use photos for other purposes than those intended. What’s more, these media feature the largest images bank in the world that is reasonably accessible to others. Because of this, it can happen that your photo is suddenly used outside its context or purpose. Because of their general terms and conditions, they will completely shift the responsibility off and so you are only responsible for preventing your photo from being (abused) even further.
- Internet does not forget
Our new data protection laws allow us to force organizations to delete our information. But social media work by sharing, using, modifying, and licking data and posts from each other. This can be much more difficult for you to deal with, so it becomes quite difficult to have some (or all) of the data that you want to delete removed. The trace you leave behind will often remain forever on this worldwide web.
- What seems like fun today, can be embarrassing tomorrow
Your idea of cute and fun will change in the future, but certainly this of your child. Imagine him or her going to high school, and every time he sees that picture of his first solid meal in his pamper on a summer’s day. What used to lead to cute reactions may now lead to harassment.
- You endanger the safety of yourself and your child
For someone who has bad intentions, it is not very difficult to get meaningful information from children’s photos: where your child goes to school, what youth movement he or she is in, … If it links this information to other public information, the date of a school party for example, it may be that you open the door for burglars in this way. If you still want to share these photos of the holiday or camp, make sure that the place is not recognizable, or post the photos after the holiday if you are already back home. Also make sure that geodata (location data) is turned off or that the dates are deleted. If you share business, do so smartly
- As the parent, you decide the standard for your child
If you, as a parent, share a lot of information with the world yourself, you shouldn’t be afraid that your child will find it normal and will do so. If you don’t pay attention to this for privacy, security or abuse, you will also teach this to your child(ren). Our world will not stop evolving digitally and the future will only bring more products that will be or can be connected to the internet. If we don’t urgently learn to handle this carefully, we’ll get to a point where the internet knows us better than we know ourselves and the internet will predict our future and control our day. We are closer than ever to this today. So being careful and safe is more than ever the message.