|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Jan 2018|
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Parents are often considered ‘gatekeepers’ of their children’s personal information, the best people to decide whether a child’s information is shared (Weller v Associated Newspapers, AAA v Associated Newspapers). However, in the sharenting context a conflict of interests exists between parents, and their rights to freedom of expression and respect for family life, and their child’s right to privacy.
This conflict was clearly highlighted in 2016 when media reports suggested an eighteen-year-old Austrian girl, founding her claim on her right to privacy, was suing her parents for posting embarrassing childhood photos on Facebook. Whilst that story has since been denounced as untrue it nonetheless raises two interesting questions: Could a child sue their parents for sharenting? Should the courts intervene in what might be considered a family dispute?
In attempting to answer these questions this article analyses how a claim brought by a child against their parents for unauthorised online disclosure of their information might be decided under English law. It identifies several problems a child might encounter when seeking to remove their information from the online sphere through the courts, and suggests various alternatives to court action which might more effectively protect the rights of both parents and children.