Beware posting about kids

PROUD parents could be unwittingly putting their children at risk by posting images and information online which give away personal details such as where they go to school and which parks they frequent.

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell urged parents to be cautious when posting photos or children’s achievements.

“It has the potential to put them at risk,” she said.

“People can potentially find out what school they go to, or track where they move about the community because you have locational settings on.

“We have to be careful when we put images out there in the ether because we really don’t know what is happening to them, we don’t know who is going to access them and we don’t know what they’re going to do with them.”

She cited an example of an Australian man who posted a picture of his naked toddler in the bath on Facebook, thinking it would only be seen by friends and family, only to discover 3000 strangers had clicked on and “liked” the image.

NSW Privacy Commissioner Dr Elizabeth Coombs also warned parents against oversharing, saying: “The capability of technology requires us all to be far more conscious of what information we make available and the possible consequences to others including children.”

A University of NSW research project has questioned whether information parents post about their child violates their privacy and could become a “dirt file” in decades to come.

But Sydney mother Eugenie Pepper posts images of her children, Tommy, 6, and Chloe, 4, on YouTube, her personal Facebook page as well as the page of her children’s wear business.

“I feel as if I am compiling these great memories ... my gut is telling me that they’re not going to care about it.”

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