18-year-old sues parents for posting baby pictures on Facebook

A case out of Austria could reignite a debate about sharing photos of children on Facebook.

An 18-year-old woman from Carinthia is suing her parents over their posting of 500 images of her without her consent, The Local Austria reports. The images were shared with her parents’ 700 Facebook friends. Her father told the news outlet he has rights to the photos because he took them.

"They knew no shame and no limit — and didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot — every stage was photographed and then made public,” the 18-year-old told The Local Austria.

The woman is seeking financial compensation and wants the photos to be removed from Facebook. The woman’s lawyer said she has a good chance of winning, News Europe reports. In France, parents can be jailed and fined if their children choose to sue them for breaching privacy, The Telegraph reports.

The Austria case goes to court in November, and if she does win, parents around the world might be rethinking how they share photos of their children on social media.

The average parent shares almost 1,500 photos — mostly on Facebook — of a children before they turn 5-years-old, according to Parent Zone, a UK-based site about parenting in the digital age. Facebook has no policy against sharing photos of children, but Facebook does require users to be at least 13 years old before creating a profile. Those who oppose posting photos of their kids online say it's unfair to make digital decisions for a child. Also, some parents worry about photos showing up in public search engines or falling into the wrong hands.


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