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Sharenting: Posting photos of your children online may be a breach of their human rights

Parents are being warned that posting images of their children online could be a breach of their human rights.

A Deakin academic has made a submission to the United Nations arguing that posting children’s images and information online infringes on the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Associate Lecturer Cassandra Seery, from Deakin Law School, said parents need to carefully consider what they post online.

“Posting images of your child online, posting information relating to your child online, can have consequences outside of that space,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Ms Seery said posting kids’ information online can lead to privacy breaches, make them prone to data processing and mining, and put them at risk of violence or sexual exploitation.

“Barclays Bank in the UK has warned that kind of ‘sharenting’ could compromise children’s future financial security, and forecasted it will soon account for two-thirds of identity fraud,” she said.

There have already been cases of parents being sued by their children because of information shared online.

“There was a case in 2018 where an Italian boy, 16-years-old, sued his estranged mother for constantly posting photos of him on Facebook without his consent. He was successful in that instance,” Ms Seery said.

The Deakin academic said it’s ultimately a personal decision what information is shared about children online, but she urged caution.

“If you put those photos up there be aware that there is potential for misuse and if you’re thinking about that then that should inform the decision as to whether you feel comfortable about it,” she said.

“It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.”

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