New parents are especially proud of their own baby and would like to share their happiness with the whole world. But don’t lose sight of your child’s privacy rights . Answering the following questions will help you decide how to handle photos of your child.
Your child will only learn over time what photos are and what it means when images are shared online. Therefore, for the time being, you have to make the decision on how it should look like in photos and who is allowed to see certain images. Therefore, before you share a photo of your child that you find funny, for example, you should consider whether you would have liked it if your parents had shared such a picture of you.
Children should always be seen clothed in photos and not in a ridiculous or even embarrassing situation. If other children are visible in the photo, you must obtain the consent of their parents or legal guardians.
Photos of children can also be beautiful without showing them very clearly, e.g. by photographing them from behind or only showing a detail. For more tips on how to take and share beautiful children’s photos in a creative way without violating their privacy rights, see our post Creative Children’s Photos.
Also, think about the channels through which photos are distributed. When you post a picture on WhatsApp it can be forwarded easily and unnoticed, and may even end up in someone else’s hands. Then you don’t know what happens to it.
To avoid this, there are often various setting options in apps or on platforms that restrict visibility or the circle of recipients. Also regularly check your own privacy and security settings! Be sure to avoid posting a photo of your child in combination with exact details such as name or location.
The fact that you want to capture beautiful moments with your child and share them with others is quite normal and brings joy. But not every photo has to be shared or published on the Internet. It can be just as nice to show the pictures at the family gathering and enjoy them together. Discuss with family and friends how you would like photos of your child to be handled. (You can find suggestions for this at the German Children’s Fund, for example.) Because once photos have been sent via WhatsApp or other messengers, they can be forwarded easily and unnoticed. Tip: With messenger apps like Signal or Telegram photos are not automatically saved in the recipient’s photo gallery!
Discuss this with your partner or the other parent. But children also have a right to co-determination, privacy and to decide what happens to pictures of them. That’s why you should involve your child as early as possible. If it is still very young, you can ask if it likes itself in the photo before forwarding it. From kindergarten age, you should ask more precisely, e.g. whether grandma and grandpa are also allowed to see and have a picture. Respect your child’s decision, even if it is not your opinion.