By : K.Vatsala Devi
SHAH ALAM – When you are scrolling through various social media platforms have you come across postings of parents who have the need to record every adorable moment of their lil bubs and share it on these platforms so family and friends, near and far can view and bask in the moment as well? If you answered yes, then it is important for you to press pause and read this and share it with them.
As technology enriches our lives and works to bring the world closer, one cannot help wonder if there is a price to pay for such convenience as we are all well-aware, every action has a consequence. The act of posting your child’s growth, progress, and adorable moments on social media platforms could seem harmless but it could turn to be harmful as they grow older.
On that account, are parents guilty of violating a child’s privacy?
A search on the Internet on this topic would lean towards parents being perpetrators of violating their kids’ privacy as some parents create a child’s digital footprint even before a child is born, in the form of photos or postings that document every stage of their life.
This act of posting it on social media may seem adorable at first, but what parents forget is this act could potentially leave harmful digital footprints well before the age of consent.
This statement is further strengthened when Amy Webb, the founder and chief executive of Webbmedia Group explained that once you post and tag your child, they become subject to an array of databases over which parents have little control and could be at risk for identity theft, humiliation, and even future discrimination.
In the Room for Debate feature on “Children and Digital Privacy”, the founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media, James P. Steyer explained that ‘oversharenting’ is unhealthy as parents sometimes forget to consider the history and reputation they are creating for their children. Questions like how they will feel about their digital footprints in the future and how will these footprints affect the way other people see them are not taken into consideration.
To prove a point, we cite an excerpt taken from The Atlantic that was published on February 20, 2019 where the article “When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online” written by Taylor Lorenz explored the shock that children go through when they realise details of their life have been shared online without their consent or knowledge.
“When Ellen, an 11-year-old, finally decided to Google herself, she didn’t expect to find anything, because she doesn’t yet have her own social-media accounts. She was stunned when she found years of swim scores and sports statistics on the web. A personal story she wrote in third grade was also published on a class website with her name attached. “I didn’t think I would be out there like this on the internet,” she told me.
Ellen said that while she didn’t find anything too sensitive or personal, she was frustrated that all the information about herself had been posted seemingly without her consent.