Baby’s privacy exposed on LinkedIn

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My dad was vigilant in protecting my privacy. He never allowed me to go anywhere without telling him first. And when I didn’t follow his instructions, there was hell to pay. Father’s who lead by example may be in short supply, however, the must still protect their baby’s privacy before anyone else. For as long as there’s been humans, father’s have been the primary protectors of babies. Mothers may nurture and feed babies, but it’s to the dad’s of the world the family looks for safety and security.

You may take this for granted in the concrete jungles of South Africa and elsewhere in the industrialised world. The more people in your “tribe” or group, the less privacy you can expect. And on a recent weekend retreat in Tsitsikama, Eastern Cape, I was introduced to the liberterian philosophy of the Consent Axiom explained by Trevor Watkins:

I believe that the basis for successful human coexistence can be reduced to a single statement, a single concept. This statement is the Consent Axiom: No action without consent.

This statement is as brief and uncompromising as the biblical 5th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. Like most 4 word sentences, some further elaboration is required for better understanding.

Patrick Korie must protect his baby's privacy on LinkedIn

Your Baby’s Privacy is Important

Of course a 1-year old baby cannot give consent to it’s photo being published for everyone to see on LinkedIn. Therefore it should not be published on any social networks. All parents must take the long term view before posting family photos and protect their baby’s privacy like it’s their own. Nobody will post photos of their bank account statements, so why do you post photos of your children without their consent?

This morning I stumbled across one of the many personal things people share on social media. A father, Patrick Korie, shared his baby’s 1-year photo on LinkedIn asking people to “wish” her happy birthday. The likes and comments were streaming onto the cute photo of the baby playing with the laptop. I decided NOT to like this and wished I could ask him this question, “Why do you abuse your baby’s privacy on social media?”

Reminder to Parents about Privacy

Parents, please stop sharing your baby photos on social media. When they grow up, they will not be happy with all this exposure unless you want them to become attention seeking reality-show watching crybabies with low self-esteem. A baby’s privacy is not more or less important than those of an adult, it’s of equal importance. Please remember and we will keep remind you to avoid this stupidity. Someone once told me, the way you know you’ve raised your children successfully, is when they don’t want to be famous!

One thought on “Baby’s privacy exposed on LinkedIn

  1. Trevor Watkins

    April 7, 2016

    This article raises an interesting issue. If you cannot get a person’s consent because they are too young, or disabled in some way, then their guardian becomes responsible for that consent. What principles should guide the guardian in their choice? The most obvious one is “Do no harm”. For less simple cases, the principle should be “What decision would you make for yourself” in such a case? Most of us would object to photos of us being published on the internet without our permission. The guardian should come to the same conclusion.
    I agree with Ramon that parents should be cautious about publishing pictures of their children widely on the unrestricted internet. There are plenty of privacy controlled facilities for sharing family pics, such as Google+ and Photo.

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