Back in March, I linked to an article in The Telegraph, “French parents ‘could be jailed’ for posting children’s photos online.” And in September, I linked to an article about an Austrian teen suing her parents for violating her privacy by posting her pictures online without her consent.
Now Scott Greenfield has a post about the issue of criminalizing the conduct of parents who post their children’s pictures online. Once again, Scott makes the case for how extreme reactions and rushing to criminalize online conduct may seem justified but can result in undesirable and disproportionate consequences.
Just as the internet is in its infancy for the purpose of appreciating its potential for harm, it’s in its infancy for the purpose of creating crimes to combat harms. The rush to blindly stop one gives rise to the other, the crimes that no one would believe could be crimes, that no one would believe any reasonable person would prosecute.
The French aren’t nuts. The rationale for why they have embraced the concerns of privacy is remarkably similar to the arguments for criminalization here, all well-intended and totally rational sounding if one doesn’t labor too hard to think beyond the hype. But where it ends up in France is where it will end up here as well. Mommy will be punished for potentially ruining junior’s life by posting a cute pic on the internet.
Read his full post on Simple Justice.