Mum’s warning about online privacy: “I can’t fix this”

NSW-based mum, Tammy, is horrified about a breach in her daughter’s privacy.

It turns out her daughter’s school used her eight-year-old’s image on an advertisement, without the parents’ express permission.

“She was front and centre in the photo, sitting in her classroom at her desk, looking up at the camera,” Tammy tells Kidspot.


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“We saw the picture on the side of a bus advertising the school, and it was central to an article promoting the facilities at the school in the yearbook.”

“The facilities” she’s referring to are the school’s remedial maths class, which is why she’s in such a flap. Her wee one was already feeling embarrassed about being in the catch-up class, so this felt like it was rubbing salt in the wound.

“I felt we didn’t protect her, that the school didn’t protect her and we had incorrectly trusted the school to do the right thing by her,” Tammy says.

“I just thought: I can’t fix this.”

I have to admit: I don’t get it.

And I think Tammy’s going a little overboard.

I don’t know if it’s simply the fact that I’ve grown up in a digital world so I expect everything to be fairly much in the public domain.

Or maybe it’s that I’m so cynical, I don’t believe any of us have much privacy any more?

Either way, I really don’t see what the big deal is here.

Yes, the school messed up; they should definitely seek out the parents’ permission before publishing a photo of the child on the side of a bus.

But they didn’t… and the end result is… Tammy’s daughter had her picture on a bus for a few months, without full permission.

This isn’t because Tammy “failed” to protect her child.

The Sydney parents who fed their toddler a minimal vegan diet, almost starving the child to death (she weighed less than 5kg at 20-months of age) and limiting the poor child’s growth and development?

They failed their child.

The guardian who took in her developmentally challenged nephew, then abused him and failed to get him medical treatment, causing his death at just 10 years of age?

She failed her child.

But Tammy hasn’t failed in anything… except perhaps understanding that we live in a digital age, and her daughter’s photos and selfies are going to be shared far and wide in the years ahead!

What do you think: is Tammy making a mountain out of a molehill, or is this actually a big issue that deserves her outrage?

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