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Posting photos of children online

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Started by Nathaniel Louwrens 04 Mar 2016 8:03am () Replies (10)

NetSafe shared this article on their Facebook page this morning:

French parents 'could be jailed' for posting children's photos online

It states, 

French parents are being warned to stop posting pictures of children on social networks in case their offspring later sue them for breaching their right to privacy or jeopardising their security.

This is something that I have discussed a few times with my wife and a former colleague of mine. Not about the possibility of being sued, but thinking about what choices the children have about what gets shared online by their parents. What control do the children have over their own privacy and their own digital footprint when others are posting the photos?

Should we be giving our children more say in what gets posted online?

Mr Delcroix said: “We often criticise teenagers for their online behaviour, but parents are no better.”

He argued that people should think about how their children will feel later in life about images of them as infants or adolescents being posted on Facebook or other social networks. “Children at certain stages do not wish to be photographed or still less for those photos to be made public,” he told Le Figaro newspaper.

It might be interesting to ask your students what they think? Do they feel they have control over what gets posted about them? Do they see it as an issue?

What about in regards to what is shared from school? Often parents sign the forms saying that it's okay to share photos or work of their children. Should the children be signing these too? And what if they change their minds?

Check out the Digital Citizenship resources on Enabling e-Learning.


  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 11 Mar 2016 8:48am ()

    According to a recent study, many children do not want their parents to post about them on social media. This New York Times article explains further, Don't post about me on social media, children say.

    it’s increasingly clear that our children will grow into teenagers and adults who want to control their digital identities.

    Our children and teenagers seem to understand the internet and its long-reaching and lasting effects, far better than some adults.

    And what can seem positive at the time can have some very negative effects down the track as is seen in this comment,

    “I definitely know people who have parents who post things they wish weren’t out there. There was a girl in my eighth grade class whose mom opened a YouTube account for her in the fourth grade to show off her singing,” she wrote to me in an email. “Finally, on one of the last months of middle school, a peer played the song in class and almost the entire class laughed hysterically over it.”

    • What are your thoughts?
    • How do you manage this in your home?
    • How is this managed in your school or classroom?

    As a society, says [legal skills professor] Ms. Steinberg, “we’re going to have to find ways to balance a parent’s right to share their story and a parent’s right to control the upbringing of their child with a child’s right to privacy.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 14 Mar 2016 1:51pm ()

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    You've raised some really good questions.

    At what age do you think children are able to make a properly informed decision? 

    Should parents not be posting photos of children online before their children are old enough to make those decisions? 

    It certainly not a simple issue!

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 14 Mar 2016 1:53pm ()

    Thanks for sharing your stories, Anne.

    It's interesting that the students you have spoken to about this are fine as long as they are posting the photos of themselves. They're making the initial decision to put themselves out there.

    So when do/should schools be seeking student permission for posting photos/videos etc or students and not only parent permission?

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 14 Mar 2016 1:56pm ()

    NetSafe have some excellent resources on managing your digital footprint and on privacy and security.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2016 10:16am ()

    It seems that this is quite topical at the moment. George Couros has recently written a post entitled, Getting proper permission for posting student pictures online.

    In the post, George highlights 3 reasons why we should always ask permission before posting photos online (even if we already have a signed formed to say it's okay):


    each day is different and there are days where maybe a student is not up for you sharing their picture to the world

    This one is so true. I've taken photos of my children at home before and on some days they love the idea of me sharing their photo online, but on others, they really don't want it. We need to respect this.


    we need to model that if we are going to post something online of someone, that we should ask permission​

    If we're not doing it... why would our children/students?


    how comfortable would many teachers be of students just taking a picture of them with their phone and posting it online without permission?

    I certainly don't always like my photo shared.

    I know I'll certainly be making more of an effort to ask permission of those I want to share photos of online.


    What processes do you have in place in your classroom or at home to ensure your children/students/visitors/yourself feel safe in regards to sharing online?

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Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship

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