Parental sharenting and the privacy of children

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Research suggests that many parents in the United Kingdom will have posted hundreds of photographs of their children before those children reach their fifth birthday (Rose, 2016). In the United States 92% of children have an online presence due to their parents’ disclosures by the age of two years old (HL Select Committee, 2016). So many parents now share information about their children online that two new terms have now emerged to describe the phenomenon; 'sharenting', meaning the 'habitual use of social media to share news, images, etc of one’s children' (Collins dictionary) and 'oversharenting', which refers to parents sharing too much or inappropriate information. Steinberg (2016) suggests that a potential conflict of interests arises whenever parents sharent, recognising that whilst children 'have an interest in privacy … a parent's right to control the upbringing of his or her children and a parent's right to free speech may trump this interest.' Media reports in 2016 suggested that an eighteen-year-old Austrian girl had decided to bring a claim against her parents for posting embarrassing childhood photos on Facebook, founding her claim on her right to privacy. Whilst that story has now been denounced as untrue it nonetheless raises an interesting question; could a child sue their parents for sharenting? In an attempt to answer this question this paper considers the respective rights afforded to parents and children in the sharenting context. It analyses how a claim made by a child against her parents for unauthorised online disclosure of her information might be decided under English law, and identifies several problems that a child might encounter when seeking the removal of their information from the online sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017
EventNorthumbria University Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty and Doctoral Conference - Newcastle, UK
Duration: 28 Jun 2017 → …


ConferenceNorthumbria University Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty and Doctoral Conference
Period28/06/17 → …


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