Woman sues parents over Facebook pictures

By Justin Huggler

The 18-year-old said childhood pictures of her on Facebook were embarrassing and a violation of her privacy. Photo / AP
The 18-year-old said childhood pictures of her on Facebook were embarrassing and a violation of her privacy. Photo / AP

A woman in Austria is suing her parents to force them to remove childhood pictures of her from Facebook, in the first case of its kind in the country.

The 18-year-old woman, who has not been named under Austrian privacy laws, said the pictures were embarrassing and a violation of her privacy.

"They knew no shame and no limits," she told Austria's Heute newspaper.

"They didn't care if I was sitting on the toilet or lying naked in the cot, every moment was photographed and made public."

The woman said she had repeatedly asked her parents to remove more than 500 pictures of her from Facebook, but they had refused.

I'm tired of not being taken seriously by my parents

So she decided to take legal action as soon as she turned 18.

"I'm tired of not being taken seriously by my parents," she said.

Her parents have shared the intimate pictures with around 700 friends on Facebook, she said.

Her father told her that as he had taken the photographs, he had the right to do with them as he pleased.

Now she is suing her parents for infringing her right to privacy.

The case is set to come to court in November and her lawyer, Michael Rami, said he believed she had a good chance of winning.

Rami said he was seeking financial compensation for his client, as well as a court order for her parents to take the pictures down.

Laws on posting images of children on social media vary widely across Europe.

In France, which has the strictest controls, anyone who posts a photograph of some one without their express consent - including parents posting pictures of their own children - can face a fine of up to €45,000.

French authorities have warned parents against posting intimate images of their children on Facebook, saying it could cause them lasting psychological damage.

In the UK, a recent survey found that the average parent will have posted 1498 pictures of their children on social media by the time the child turns 5.

The survey found that 85 per cent of parents had not reviewed their Facebook privacy settings in more than a year, and 79 per cent wrongly believed strangers could not see pictures of their children.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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