Should Parents Who Share Too Much About Their Children on Social Media Be Punished? A Review of Digital Parental Authority in France

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The importance of protecting children’s privacy online

The issue of parents sharing too much information about their children on social media has become a matter of concern, not only in France but also in other parts of the world. In an effort to address this issue, the French government is backing a bill introduced by Renaissance MP Bruno Studer, which aims to review digital parental authority.

The Secretary of State for Children, Charlotte Kobel, highlighted the need for action during Operation Cybermoi/s, stating that parents who excessively share images of their children may have their digital parental power restricted. Under the proposed bill, if the dissemination of a child’s image by parents seriously harms the child’s dignity or moral integrity, an individual, institution, or child protection service could seek legal intervention to protect the child’s image rights.

This measure particularly affects influential individuals who frequently showcase their children on social media platforms. However, the bill’s fate is yet to be determined, as it will require consensus among different political groups.

To ensure the safety and privacy of children online, it is strongly advised to refrain from posting images of them on social media altogether. These seemingly innocent photos can potentially end up in the hands of child predators or be manipulated into deepfakes, posing a threat to the child’s identity and security. Instead, it is recommended to share such photos with trusted individuals through private messages or email.

If you do choose to share photos on social networks, it is crucial to diligently manage your privacy settings and limit access to your posts. Unfortunately, many parents are careless in this regard. A British study cited by France Info revealed that 22% of surveyed parents grant access to their Facebook posts to strangers.

In conclusion, protecting children’s privacy and safety online should be a top priority for parents. Legislation such as the proposed bill in France serves as a reminder to be cautious about the information and images shared on social media platforms. By being vigilant and responsible, parents can play a significant role in safeguarding their children’s digital well-being.

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