An 18-year-old Austrian woman is taking legal action against her parents for posting baby photos online
An 18-year old Austrian woman is suing her parents for posting photos of her online. The parents have posted more than 500 images of their daughter on Facebook, to more than 700 friends. The young woman asked for the images to be taken down, but that did not happen. The case will be heard in court in November.
A lawyer for the woman has said that the images, which include photos of the girl as a baby getting potty trained, "violated her right to a personal life". The woman's father, however, says the images are his and he can do what he wants with them.
If the girl wins she will receive financial compensation for the pain caused and her parents will be libel to pay her legal fees.
While there is not much legal precedent for cases such as this, some countries have stricter law than others. France, for example, has very strict rules; anyone convicted of publishing and distributing images of another peron without their consent could face 1 year in prison and a fine of up to €45,000. French authorities have warned that uploading images of kids on Facebook could attract sexual predators and have warned that children could face social and psychological problems later in life.
Speaking to Newstalk.com earlier this morning, media lawyer Andrea Martin gave some insight into the current legal situation here in Ireland.
"A child, under the age of 18, cannot give consent. Consent is given by the parent or guardian on behalf of the child. If the parent opts to upload an image of their child to Facebook they should consider: is this in the best interests of the child? Remember that when you are uploading an image to Facebook, you are agreeing to abide by their terms and conditions."
Martin had some advice for parents, should they find themselves in a similar situation: "If a child asks for an image to be removed, you should do it. Always remember that what seems funny and cute now could come back to haunt the child in the future."
If you are a Facebook user, take some time to get to grips with your Facebook privacy settings.
It's possible to set your photos to be visible only to your friends. If you don't want people to be able to tag you in images, simply adjust your settings accordingly. It's important to remember, however, that disapproving a tag does not delete the image, it simply means it will not appear on your wall.