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Parents Could Be Sued By Their Kids For Posting Pictures of Them On Facebook (theguardian.com) 122

Next time you share pictures of your children on Facebook, you will want to take their permission before doing that. French authorities have warned parents in France of fines of up to $50,000 and a year in prison for publishing intimate photos of their children on social media without permission. From a Guardian report: It's a development that could give pause for thought for many parents used to sharing details of their children's lives across social media. A 2015 study by internet company Nominet found parents in the UK post nearly 200 photos of their under fives online every year, meaning a child will feature in around 1,000 online photos before their fifth birthday. [...] "In a few years, children could easily take their parents to court for publishing photos of them when they were younger," Eric Delcroix, an expert on internet law and ethics, told Le Figaro. "Children at certain stages do not wish to be photographed or still less for those photos to be made public," he added.It may seem like an absurd law to many, but think about the potential consequences of putting a kid's picture on social media. Among others, we've seen plenty of pictures becoming meme on the web.
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Parents Could Be Sued By Their Kids For Posting Pictures of Them On Facebook

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  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @10:45AM (#52075499) Homepage Journal

    Really? One wonders how a child would give permission in any manner that meant anything in a legal sense.

    Perhaps the summary isn't presenting this clearly (what? WHAT?) but yes, it does seem pretty absurd.

    Then again, the US certainly hasn't been slacking in stepping into the role of parental choice / decision-making.

    • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

      Exactly. If a child is not at Age of Consent (which varies) or, more importantly, legal Adult status, and thus able to enter contract and sign any official document, how can permission be granted legally before that time ? Does not Parental Rights imply the granting of permissions (especially if the parent is the one who took and posted the photos. . . )

      • Does not Parental Rights imply the granting of permissions (especially if the parent is the one who took and posted the photos. . . )
        The courts, and common sense, think: it does not.

        However your milage of "common sense" may vary :D

      • I don't know about French law, but yes, here in the USA by definition a minor cannot consent to just about anything. Therefore, claiming that a parent needed their child's permission to post something is meaningless.
        • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday May 09, 2016 @12:56PM (#52076635) Homepage Journal

          Therefore, claiming that a parent needed their child's permission to post something is meaningless.

          Regardless of the legal code, the ethical reasoning is very muddled.

          The most workable construction is that, while, yes, a child is born with inherent rights, the child is initially incapable of exercising those rights. Nobody says that a toddler should be free to head off to a rave downtown - it's expected that a parent will appropriately curtail the child's rights.

          Over time, the parent(s), the custodian of those child's rights, will slowly cede the rights back to the child, as his brain matures. By time the child turns 18, he's legally recognized as an adult with full rights (excepting Prohibitionist nonsense).

          The French here seek to punish a parent for exercising the rights over which he has moral custody, which is, in effect, exercising his own rights.

          Sure, some parents will make bad choices, but most will not, and having a government suing parents for sharing pics of their kids is far, far, more dangerous to the society than the occasional lapse of judgement.

        • by v1 ( 525388 )

          I don't know about French law, but yes, here in the USA by definition a minor cannot consent to just about anything.

          I'm assuming this is a question of rights of images taken when the person was a minor, and now is not. I would have expected that the courts would consider pictures taken of a child to be given "unlimited indefinite license for use in the future" if taken while the child was a minor and they were the child's parent. Apparently not?

          When a kid turns 18, the parents usually "gift" the child eve

      • by swalve ( 1980968 )
        Human rights trump these "parental rights" of yours. Parents don't have rights, they have responsibilities.
        • A child is not a fully functional human yet. Their "rights" are adjusted accordingly.
          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            But children are not chattel, and parents don't have the freedom to abuse their kids.

            The question here: is oversharing a form of abuse? I think it is, though a mild one. What you do as a young child should not follow you into adulthood.

        • So "human rights" trump "parental rights"? OK, but between my "human right" to post on social media a picture I took and the "human right" of someone else to forbid me to post on social media a picture I took, which "human right" trump which?

          Seriously, the concept of "human rights" is now so abused that it has become a farce.

          • There is no human right to post on social media. There is a human right to privacy. So yeah, someone does have the right to ask not to feature in your facebook postings.
            • by suutar ( 1860506 )

              but there is a right of expression, usually termed "speech" but interpreted to be more than vocalization. So... speech or privacy?

            • The idea that "privacy" is a human right is absurd. It's not because you desire something that it becomes a "right".

              And by the way, privacy is used for only one thing : to hide who you really to others in order to not suffer from the consequences of your actions. You call that a "human right"?

              • by i.kazmi ( 977642 )

                While I think this lawsuit and the court's decision are absolutely bonkers and the right to privacy is somewhat curtailed in a public setting (such as in markets, parks, bus/train terminals etc), I do think everyone has a right to privacy (for instance in their homes, in private gatherings, in personal communications, etc).

                I, for one, would hate it if someone were constantly snooping on me while I was sat in my home minding my own business, won't you?.

        • Human rights trump these "parental rights" of yours. Parents don't have rights, they have responsibilities.

          Parents aren't humans?

        • Indeed, it's that children have rights and parents exercise them on their behalf. The problem is that the left has been trying to shift that responsibility to the state for decades.

          No one has explained how, if a parent is supposed to get the consent of their child, that they're supposed to prove that. Does one have to shoot some video asking their child if it's OK to post that infant bathtub photo?

          • by i.kazmi ( 977642 )
            Left? You mean to tell me that the right has never used 'Think of the children' for scaremongering to push asinine laws through?
          • by i.kazmi ( 977642 )
            Additionally, America doesn't have a political left (the way the rest of the world perceives left anyway). You have far-right (the Republicans) and centre-right (the Democrats) so I have no idea what, how or why you have a beef with the Left (since you are always whining and moaning about Left this, Left that so it is only natural that I presume that you have some grudge against what you perceive to be the Left), methinks you should be mad at some shade of Right!
      • Obviously, the article talks about France, but in the US my boys don't have any right to agree to any legal contract. If a photographer took a photo of them and wanted to use it for commercial purposes, they'd need the approval of me and my wife. We actually did this with one photo we took that Western Digital wanted to use for an ad campaign. We signed the paperwork and collected the money. My son didn't really have any say in the matter. (He was too young to understand what this all meant. Had he be

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Playing devil's advocate: How do you want to teach children to handle private information responsibly on the internet when their parents have already ruined any chance of keeping such information private in the first place?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What private information? Their weight at birth? The day they lost their first tooth? Is there some massive group of parents posting their kid's SSN or something like that?

        • It's not just about identity theft material. Plenty of parents certainly believe that it's their right... their duty even... to publicly humiliate their children. I'm really not sure how that could escape your notice. It's so pervasive that it's even become the sort of pop-culture cliche that makes it into Volkswagen commercials.

      • How do you want to teach children to handle private information responsibly

        I don't want to teach other people's children anything. I've been done with teaching mine for years now. I think that it is first the parents job / responsibility, and second, that of the state.

        Providing information to a citizen -- any age -- is one thing. The way I see it, it's difficult to do it wrong, if you do it truthfully. The state, unfortunately, has a very bad habit of being untruthful in service of various shabby (and worse

    • This is the same country where you cannot legally cut your kids out of an inheritance - the French government has never been shy about stepping in where it really shouldnt have any jurisdiction.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Monday May 09, 2016 @11:35AM (#52075819) Homepage Journal

      They are simply pointing out that if you post embarrassing photos of your kids on Facebook the worst possible scenario is that they go viral and they end up hating you so much they sue you for damages and violation of privacy. It's unlikely but the law allows for it in extreme cases, where the child can show that they have been (psychologically) injured or lost money (e.g. was forced out of a job).

      Basically they are just reminding everyone that the law applies to children too and parents should think before posting every moment of their little darling's life on Facebook.

      • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

        That makes me wonder: sue your own parents? Do they have liability insurance for this sort of thing? No? Then where will the money come from? YOUR OWN INHERITANCE, dumbass. So, you sue your parents broke, or nearly so, you get your inheritance early, good for you.

        Now you'll have to spend it to maintain your parents in their old age, because they can't afford to live.

        Or your brothers and sisters sue the crap out of you, because you caused them to lose their inheritance.

    • Beyond that, are the alleged consequences even that probable? This sounds more like a combination of legal stupidity and the general ability of people to overestimate risks by such a wide degree. In other words, it is irrational from the top down.

    • Copyright law is pretty absurd, and anything you derive from absurd basis is bound to be absurd too.

      Absurd parts of copyright:
      Period it last for,
      Due process (take down notices), god forbid you would have to have proof before demanding someone take down a potentially infringing copy.
      Most parts of law you have to actually prove a harm beyond balance of probability (reasonable doubt for criminal charges) occurred.
      Fair use, first sale doctrine, seem to be thrown out the window.

      If fair use was, or harm part of

    • Really? One wonders how a child would give permission in any manner that meant anything in a legal sense.

      Perhaps the summary isn't presenting this clearly (what? WHAT?) but yes, it does seem pretty absurd.

      Then again, the US certainly hasn't been slacking in stepping into the role of parental choice / decision-making.

      What right does a biological parent who has a child of between 6 months to teenager have? If the parent has no rights, then why hang around.

  • Surely the cost should be in Euros? Or is Slashdot's target audience just in North America?
    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      TFA reads 45,000 EUR. I assume the editor or poster converted to USD.

      • My point is why convert to dollars anyway? Yes include it along with the original currency of the nation where the story originates (as does the Guardian article it is linked from) but don't replace it like the US is only nation that reads Slashdot.
        • by pla ( 258480 )
          My point is why convert to dollars anyway? Yes include it along with the original currency of the nation where the story originates (as does the Guardian article it is linked from) but don't replace it like the US is only nation that reads Slashdot.

          It makes sense to give it in dollars because people from many countries read Slashdot.

          The US Dollar acts as this planet's dominant reserve currency, for better or worse. Pretty much anyone with even the slightest interest in international affairs has a good
  • So if this guy was French, could he not only sue his parents, but the estate of Kurt Cobain?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • Missouri teen, is suing parents for corruption of a minor, child endangerment, emotional distress, and negligence. It seems the teen recently acquired a Facebook account and went creeping on their parents pages. The material found was termed as 'disturbing', 'borderline pornography' and 'disgusting' by the teen. Most the of the outrage centers around the father's posting of meme's with sexual content and nudes.
  • clean slate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by leomekenkamp ( 566309 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @11:01AM (#52075603)

    I grew up in a world where the internet did not really exist for most people. My first direct contact with it was in 1989. This means I have had the opportunity (although at the time I was not fully aware of that) to influence what pieces of information about me were put online.

    When I became a father it seemed only logical to extend this same opportunity to our offspring. And my girlfriend feels the same on this issue, so it is very difficult to find anything on our children online.

    My hope is that they will see the value in this and abstain from putting things online that might work against them in their future life. Puberty for them is still some odd years in the future, so I hope there is time enough to get this into their firmware.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @11:10AM (#52075661) Journal

      I grew up in a world where the internet did not really exist for most people. My first direct contact with it was in 1989.

      You missed the best years of the Internet. After '86, it was all downhill.

    • When I became a father it seemed only logical to extend this same opportunity to our offspring. And my girlfriend feels the same on this issue, so it is very difficult to find anything on our children online.

      Yeah? I grew up in a country where a rite of passage is the posting of deeply embarrassing pictures of the first 21st years of a person's life on their 21st birthday in front of as many friends and family members as possible. Strangely my generation grew up all right, but then we also were tough as cement. Ok, we weren't that tough but we weren't coddled little flowers who have to run off to their safe spaces every time the world hurt our delicate little feelings.

      But hey, sue me. It's a sure fire way to see

      • I grew up in a country where a rite of passage is the posting of deeply embarrassing pictures of the first 21st years of a person's life on their 21st birthday in front of as many friends and family members as possible.

        Yeah, but you wouldn't tolerate someone doing that to you now, would you? You value your privacy now, right? But anyone younger has to give up any control over their image because.... they're young and fuck'em?

        The internet never forgets, it would be nice if parents took that into consideration when enforcing an online identity on their spawn. I got a friend-request from a friend's newborn the other day... *sigh*

        • Yeah, but you wouldn't tolerate someone doing that to you now, would you? You value your privacy now, right? But anyone younger has to give up any control over their image because.... they're young and fuck'em?

          We learn a lot over the years and there's one very valuable thing I've learnt since turning 21, namely that despite being embarrassed (for some strange reason) about someone seeing pictures (and a video, my parents went full out with the TV and everything) of me doing some incredibly stupid things, seeing me in "vulnerable positions" such as when I had braces with complete neck brace and looked like the type of nerd who only exists to get mocked on TV shows, and in a few cases even a few shots of me complet

          • I survived

            Good for you. I'm glad that your world does not excessively punish you for those pictures.

            Not everybody gets to be in that situation though - and that's exactly why privacy is important, and why *you* shouldn't get to decide what other people have to reveal or be ok about having revealed about themselves. There are a whole bunch of prejudices and assumptions about what a picture says about someone, whether it reveals their sexuality, disability, or whatever. I'm assuming that you're not one to judge, but so

            • Not everybody gets to be in that situation though

              Interesting thought you have there. Could it be because in your world everyone is so obsessed with privacy that the mere thought of seeing a "private" moment somewhere is an instant faux pas?

              Kind of like the obsession Americans have with titties or the more recent fear that a former man may work into a girls change room and that you need a law to stop those crazy transexuals. A lot of the antics on your side of the Atlantic seem very strange to us.

              Now you're right there are people who will judge. I had the

              • No - in my world, in all our worlds, there are people who will cause us problems because of their own hangups. And you can't always avoid them, as you so elegantly evaded acknowledging those people I mentioned that you can't avoid. Yes, your friends won't care likely, but your boss might. Your co-workers might. Your parents might. And you can't always just get another job - I doubt my tech boss cares, but if I were a teacher or in a more old-boy network then they are likely to look down. The world has many

      • Actually...

        My parents have the adorable baby picture of me which, as an adult, would be highly embarrassing if it were to see the light of day. My parents, of course, save this picture for when I bring home a sweetheart so that they can embarrass me in front of her. It's wonderful entertainment for them--revenge for all those years I made their lives miserable.

        If you post these pictures on the Internet, you ruin your opportunity for this kind of entertainment in the child's later years.

    • I grew up in a similar timeframe. I have the philosophically opposite viewpoint. That doesn't mean I think you should splash every embarrassing photo of your kids on social media to torment them in perpetuity; but that I don't think we should be trying to hide our dirty laundry under a false veneer of cleanliness.

      Have you ever read books or stories written from around the 1950s or earlier? They're remarkably sterile in that it's incredibly rare for anyone to swear. The one big exception is stories to
      • Interesting point of view. However...

        For some reason, society has developed a notion of "proper" behavior which deviates substantially from how people actually behave.

        Yes. For me this is called 'civilized'. When someone cuts me off in traffic, my instinct tells me to hit him or her. Nasty, but it is my ancient primate genes talking. I may or may not think about hitting, depending on my mood. That is the more human part of my brain. Do I actually hit someone for cutting me off in traffic? No. There is a big

  • by mewn ( 70848 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @11:01AM (#52075611)

    Seriously, do you even read TFA ?

    Under France’s stringent privacy laws, parents could face penalties as severe as a year in prison and a fine of €45,000 (£35,000) if convicted of publicising intimate details of the private lives of others — including their children – without their consent.
    Eric Delcroix, an expert on internet law and ethics, said: “In a few years, children could easily take their parents to court for publishing photos of them when they were younger.”

    This is rather different than your summary :

    French authorities have warned parents in France of fines up to.....

    He is a famous lawer arguing that this could happen, which is different than a formal statement from any official.

  • Yelling "free speech" and "censorship" ... or even "copyright".

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @11:08AM (#52075647)

    "Here son, I know you're only 2 years old but I need you to sign this waiver allowing me to upload your images and also grant me a perpetual, irrevocable, unlimited, worldwide, fully paid/sublicensable license to use, copy, perform, display, distribute, and make derivative works from this content."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Two year old Son: NO!

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Two year old Son: NO!

        You can have some ice cream if you say yes... Problem solved.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      2 years old? You need to go younger than that. Like before they are born! :P

  • Yeah right (Score:5, Funny)

    by MightyDrunken ( 1171335 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @11:13AM (#52075689)

    If my children* tried to pull this off I would blackmail them with the threat to post some of the images I held back.

    * Illusion of success with opposite sex created only for humour value.

  • and get the hell off Facebook. Yea, I know.. says the guy on Slashdot. Shut up. At least there are no pictures of my children here.
    • At least there are no pictures of my children here.

      Yeah, there's also none of your friends, or family, and everyone you communicate with is just another asshole on the internet. If you think that is an improvement then it's probably self explanatory why you don't like Facebook.

      As for useful with my life, I'm sure busting out the ol' typewriter and drafting letters to friends and family on the other side of the world, delicately printing out pictures, sending them in hand addressed envelopes is a much better use of my time than a 2 minute scan down what's h

  • This really is no different than the right to be forgotten except that the time scale is shifted. It's like a Catholic indulgence, with the right to be forgiven/forgotten for all sins in the past, present, and future.

  • Deadend nation trying to remain relevant and failing miserably

  • Leaking information, without express permission, of kids, is a violation of their rights to Privacy under the Canadian Bill of Rights.

    It's also illegal in Washington State, where our State Constitution has a specific right of Privacy.

    Period.

    So stop posting those baby pics and tagging your kids.

  • This is really a ban on posting photos of children.

    France just hasn't thought it thru.

    • by slew ( 2918 )

      This is really a ban on posting photos of children.

      France just hasn't thought it thru.

      Or maybe the French have thought it through and they are simply tired of looking at endless pictures of other people's children ;^)
      (disclaimer, I have 2 kids and no facebook account)...

  • Place the child in a public space where they have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

    Take and post photos to your heart's content.

    • by slew ( 2918 )

      Place the child in a public space where they have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

      Take and post photos to your heart's content.

      Given the EU's privacy laws and the right to be forgotten, I don't think that would be a safe harbor in France the same way it might in the US.

  • Rather than posting all the kids' embarrassing photos on the internet, the parents should wait until the kids are 13 or 14 and acting like little shits.

    Then the parents can threaten to bring the photos out and show them to all the kids' friends when they come around. You've got to think ahead. :-)

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