Do Our Children Have a Right to Privacy?
In an interview earlier this year with the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, made an interesting but alarming prediction.
From the WSJ:
"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," he says. He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends' social media sites.
Well, what if the culprits aren't their friends, but their well-intentioned and loving parents?
According to an October 2010 study by Internet security company AVG, 92% of children in the United States have an online presence by the time they are two years old. A fairly high percentage (34%) of these began their digital lives before birth, as excited parents flocked to places like Facebook and Flickr to post their ultrasound pics.
The study referred to these debuts into the online world as "digital births". There were no stats on how many actual births have been documented online- photos, tweets, or otherwise. Anecdotally, I imagine the number to be quite large as well.
Whether we realize it or not, we are creating a digital history of our children that will follow them for the rest of their lives. This is a daunting prospect and doesn't leave much wiggle room for parent bloggers like myself.
In the past week, I read two great articles on the topic of mommy blogging and privacy.
The first was from Jill (a.k.a Scary Mommy) who raised the question, "are these stories of our children ours to tell?" She wonders how her children will react to her posts about their early childhood. Embarrassment? Anger? Pride?
The other was from Jessica Gottlieb who has a clearly drawn line when it comes to writing about her family: "I am the only person in my home who decided to become a blogger, therefore I am the only person who should be public".Continued on the next page