French parents 'could face prison' for posting photos of their children on Facebook

Children could be 'embarrassed' by baby photos in later life

Click to follow
The Independent Online

French parents could face heavy fines or even a prison sentence for breaching the privacy of their children by publishing intimate pictures of them on social media.

Lawyers and police in France have warned parents that their grown-up children could sue them for putting their security or privacy at risk for photos posted to Facebook and elsewhere when they were younger, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Aside from the risk of paedophiles getting hold of them, the embarassment which could be caused to children is being seen as a legitimate reason for them to later take their parents to court.

And under France's strict privacy laws, this could result in a £35,000 fine or up to a year in jail. 

Eric Delcroix, an internet law and ethics law, said the behaviour of parents online was often little better than that of their offspring.

"In a few years, children could easily take their parents to court for publishing photos of them when they are younger," he said.

French police have warned parents not to post children and baby photos beyond family members

The French Gendarmerie followed the example of German police - which ran a campaign about children's privacy - by placing a warning to parents on its Facebook page.

"Posting photos of your children on Facebook is not without danger... Protect your children!," it said.

Parents have previously been forced to take down naked pictures of babies or young children from social media networks.

Jay Parikh, who is a vice president of Facebook, said the social media giant might develop a notification system to warn parents against putting up pictures of their children online that have no privacy settings on them.

"If I was putting online a photo of my kids playing in the park, and I accidentally shared it with everyone, the system could say: 'Hey, wait a minute, this is a picture of your children'," he said, according to the Daily Telegraph.

"'Usually you only send them to members of your family. Are you sure you want to do this?'"

French police have also warned parents about chain posts which encourage parents to post pictures of their children and getting other friends to do the same.

There have been incidents in the past where children's pictures from Facebook are found on paedophilic websites later.