I find myself both envious of the technology that children grow up with these days and contradictorily thankful that my childhood wasn’t as public as it might’ve been today. Furthermore, I find it oddly uncomfortable and saddening to see how infants react to being filmed with a smartphone, because their eyes immediately fix on the camera, like they know it’s important but they’re not sure why. On that note, France has created a precedent which would allow babies to sue their parents for violations of privacy:
That photo of your toddler running around in a nappy or having a temper tantrum? Think before you post it on Facebook. That’s the advice from French authorities, which have warned parents in France they could face fines of up to €45,000 (£35,000) and a year in prison for publishing intimate photos of their children on social media without permission, as part of the country’s strict privacy laws.
Can children or infants consent to being recorded? Are parents responsible for managing their child’s privacy? What’s the harm in posting your baby pictures for your baby? I’d argue that most infants don’t understand privacy, that in fact the consent does fall upon the parents to manage (for better or worse), and that the harm is that before your child comes to the age of consent, they have already irrevocably lost a part of their privacy. In a way, it’s akin to smoking around your child, became through no fault of the child, little parts of their well-being are gone forever. Of course, people will disagree, especially considering that those pictures likely bring great pleasure to social-media-savvy grandparents.