Monday, March 2, 2015

Before you upload that picture...

Let's start with privacy basics: The bathroom door.

After several years of repeated discussions, my son has finally learned to knock on the closed bathroom door. About 60% of the time he also waits for acknowledgement before trying to come in. It is (in my head) a parenting triumph.

So we move on to phase two: The bedroom door.

After many reminders that everyone's body is private, my son no longer complains when I send him out of the bedroom when I get dressed. Sure, he is sitting outside the closed bedroom door waiting for me, but I count this as victory on an unprecedented scale.

The next step: Privacy by example.

This is a conversation many years in the making, and I am still learning the rules as I go. It's mostly about online privacy, but in order to teach my son about it, I have to learn more about it. And that is hard to do since companies keep changing the rules. This piece in medium, for example, lays out some shocking examples of companies profiting off baby pictures uploaded by parents to flickr. The parents who uploaded them may not have realized the images were marked as available for commercial use.

For me, this means that I need to start reading those terms and conditions closer. A lot closer. And then teach my son how to do the same when we spend time online together. I've already (mostly) won the battle for privacy at home; I think with enough determination and patience I can teach him to win the one online as well.

Are you up-to-date on all the terms and conditions of your social media sites? Tell me in the comments.

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