Parents Should Ask Toddlers For Permission To Post Photos, Safety Watchdog Warns
Australian parents should be asking their toddlers for permission to take their photos, according to the nation's safety watchdog.
The eSafety Commissioner issued a new booklet on Tuesday which outlines safe online practices for Australians aged younger than five and their families.
The guidelines suggest children as young as two should be asked for permission before their parents snap a photo of them.
The warning comes during an age where parents are routinely 'over-sharing' on social media.
"Before you take a photo of your child, ask their permission from an early age. Do the same before you share a photo or write something about them on social media," the guidelines read.
The government watchdog is also urging parents to consider what they posting about their kids.
"Be mindful of what you share online about your child, as this may form part of their lasting digital footprint," the watchdog said.
The warning is outlined in the 'Early Years, Online Safety for Under 5s' booklet which will be handed out in Canberra today to mark Safer Internet Day.
It will later be rolled out to preschools around the country and parents will also be able to download the guide.
However, speaking to News Corp Labor MP Courtney Houssos, who is a mother of two and lobbied for parliament to be more child-friendly, said asking toddlers for permission is taking it a little too far.
“Obviously we need to teach our children about acting responsibly online but this is too much for a two year old,” she said.
E-safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant believes parents should be warned about the dangers associated with what she deems 'sharenting'.
This phrase describes how parents often over-share images and information about their children on social media.
She said if parents involve their children early they can better "establish the resilience and critical thinking they will need if a stranger with malicious intent tries to solicit their image online".
“We are creating a child’s digital footprint, sometimes from when they are in the womb and there is a dark side. You just have to stop and think and be sensible about it,” she added.
According to News Corp, Instagram influencer and Sydney mum Alisha Williamson routinely posts photos of her children on her account and said, right now, she has no plans of asking her kids for permission.
“I feel like maybe when they are older but two is too young, it’s taking it a little bit too far.
“But my sons both love being in front of the camera and I think it’s because I’ve taken photos of them from a young age. They enjoy it.”
Thought, she does agree that the new guidelines are necessary.
“Everyone gets to see those photos and you have no control over them," Williamson confessed.
The booklet is available online, is free to all early learning services in Australia and can be ordered free of charge.
Featured image via Getty.