Monday, August 1, 2011

Privacy for criminals and ordinairy people

Privacy on internet is a hot item in the news again.
The organisation that guards the privacy of people in The Netherlands wants to fine people who put photos or videos on internet of criminals, like burglars. The fine can be up to 25.000 euro.

It's interesting they're standing up for the privacy of criminals this way.

They're even writing that the sole publishers should be the police and the law.

That's very interesting as I didn't hear them when a girl of 14 was put on internet with photo and other data, like length, colour of her eyes and even casenumber.
She had disappeared and immediately the papers jumped on the case and published her photo everywhere.

That's good, we might think. That way we could find her as soon as possible, maybe preventing serious problems.

But when the news came that she was found the photos didn't disappear at all.
Every small new non-fact about the case was published with a large photo of this minor.
She can't go anywhere without people recognising her and I don't think that's good for a 14 year old.

Privacy is something some people don't mind at all. You can see it yourself when you're bloghopping. What grown ups do with their own privacy is up to them, but some are not aware what the results can be of placing the photos of their children on internet.
Internet is a medium that keeps everything available, and the good searcher can find anything. There are plenty of problems one can be confronted with.

I've had a good friend taking things out of context and making something sound in a way it wasn't intended.
Interpreting things can be done in many ways and the consequences of mistakes are plenty.
And what to think of the photo's of a child in the hands of a wrongdoer, or children being confronted with photos of their childhood when they are older?
Who wants those pottyphotos exposed to all the world at an age of 16? For instance.

I think it's strange the organisation who guards privacy hasn't put out good guidelines for the media, at least for the media, about the use of photos of under age people.

When the kid is found, the photos should be erased.

When we protect the privacy a criminal, we sure should protect the privacy of others at least as well.
That goes for a suspect too. As a suspect is not always convicted and it's not fair to hunt a person all his life for having been a suspect.
But it certainly goes for minors, who should get far better protection from the media... and their parents.
That's my idea.
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