A woman in Austria is suing her parents to get them to remove 500 of her childhood pictures from their Facebook page, in the first case of its kind in the country. She had asked them repeatedly to remove the pictures, but they had refused. That left her with no choice but to take legal action as soon as she turned 18 for infringing her right to privacy.
The woman said the pictures, which her parents had shared with 700 visitors to their site, were embarrassing and a violation of her privacy.
“They knew no shame and no limits,” she told Austria’s Heute newspaper. “They didn't care if I was sitting on the toilet or lying naked in the cot, every moment was photographed and made public. I’m tired of not being taken seriously by my parents.”
Her father told her that as he had taken the photographs, he had the right to do with them as he pleased.
The case is set to come to court in November and her lawyer, Michael Rami, said he believed she had a good chance of winning.
Laws on posting images of children on social media vary widely across Europe. In the UK, a recent survey found that the average parent will have posted 1,498 pictures of their children on social media by the time the child turns five. The survey also found that 79 per cent of parents wrongly believed strangers could not see pictures of their children.
In France, which has the strictest controls, anyone who posts a photograph of some one without their express consent — including parents posting pictures of their own children — can face a fine of up to £38,000. Parents were also warned against posting intimate images of their children on Facebook to avoid causing them lasting psychological damage.