“How to protect children while respecting their freedom? The Defender of Rights has given a spotlight on children’s right to a private life, a thorny challenge for all families with regard to the digital world in particular, in an annual report whose publication coincides with Human Rights Day. child celebrated this Sunday.

Cyberbullying, cybersexism, “revenge porn”, “deep fakes”, image rights and the right to be forgotten: the digital world poses serious challenges to children’s privacy and to their reputation.

A quarter of college students victim of online privacy breaches

“When it comes to children, it is sometimes difficult to envisage the very idea that they have the right to a private life and to spaces of intimacy and secrecy”, observes the Defender of Rights, Claire Hédon in her report. annual. A quarter of college students, for example, say they have experienced at least one online privacy breach, according to a figure cited by the report.

To uphold the right to privacy “too often flouted”, the independent authority therefore lists 33 proposals addressed to the public authorities. Claire Hédon thus recommends training “parents and children every year at the start of the new school year in digital technology, in their image rights, in the right to be forgotten”, in the possibility of having content removed from the Internet.

Warning against “unboxing” videos with children

In this report, for which more than 1,100 people aged 6 to 21 were consulted, it appears that young people want to be made more aware of “image rights”. In particular, they ask that it be possible “to have images or videos deleted” concerning them on social networks. The report indeed points to a “multiplication of disputes between parents and young adults whose childhood photos and private details of their lives have been published” without their consent.

As such, Claire Hédon wanted to warn against a practice now widespread on social networks: “unboxing”, which consists of filming a child unpacking a product, and thus promoting it. These videos are often produced by parent-influencers, who thus expose their children.

“This so-called “unboxing” practice raises the question of their exploitation – child labor being prohibited, except for derogations provided for and regulated by law – and the remuneration of parents for this work of their children”, writes in its report the defender of rights, seized by the Observatory of Parenthood and Digital Education (OPEN).

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