Eight out of ten children have photographs published online, concludes a study by the security company AVG, which analyzed the current landscape in several western countries. The conclusions become more impressive if we take into account that they are children under two years old, whose images are put online by third parties.
Parents say they are concerned about the situation and, in the vast majority of cases, claim that the photos are published by third parties, such as family and friends. According to the analysis, only 33 percent of the mothers surveyed admit to having posted pictures of their children online.
According to the analysis, the United States is the country where the presence of photographs of babies (from 0 to 2 years old) on sites such as Facebook is most representative. Here the percentage of minors online rises to 92 percent, followed closely by New Zealand, where 91 percent of mothers claim to know that there are images of their children on the World Wide Web. In third place are Australia and Canada with 84 percent – still 2 percentage points above the global average of 82 percent.
A third of children who are on the Internet are only «a few weeks old», cites the France Press Agency, and in a quarter of the cases the images begin to appear online even before birth, through the publication of ultrasound prints.
Those responsible for the study stress the importance of ensuring privacy protection mechanisms, ensuring, for example, that access to these published images is limited to family and closest friends.
The study was based on interviews with 2,200 mothers, with access to the Internet, in countries such as Spain, France, England, Germany, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The latter – despite the well-known appetite for new technologies – proved to be the one where the «debut» of children online takes place later: only 50 percent of children under two have images published on the Internet.