Posting all the sordid details of your life on Facebook? Fine, if you’re into that sort of thing. Posting all the sordid details of someone else’s life, without their permission? That’s when you start to wade into slightly murky ethical waters, and when that other person is a baby it’s an even more questionable situation. A study commissioned by AVG finds that 92 percent of American children have some sort of “online presence” by age two, with an average “digital birth” happening at around six months. That means most children will have had some picture posted or status updated before they’re walking, while a third get online before they’ve even left the womb, pics popping up on Facebook before doctors get a chance to wipe the sonogram jelly from mummy’s tummy. It’s all innocent enough, but a bit disconcerting too, with AVG CEO JR Smith summing it up nicely:
It’s shocking to think that a 30-year-old has an online footprint stretching back 10-15 years at most, while the vast majority of children today will have online presence by the time they are two-years-old – a presence that will continue to build throughout their whole lives… it reinforces the need for parents to be aware of the privacy settings they have set on their social network and other profiles. Otherwise, sharing a baby’s picture and specific information may not only be shared with friends and family but with the whole online world.
You do know how to manage your privacy settings, right?