The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – Recording videos, taking pictures and sharing to social media is the norm. In this week’s Legal Lens, Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, explains what you need to know about protecting your kids when you’re sharing school pictures.

What is the issue with posting school pictures or kids pictures of any kind?

“The problem with showing kids’ photos online is that it gives strangers access to their information,” McNairy said. “In the wrong hands, it can be used to track down and harm your child. Especially, what they found is that it makes it easier for child predators to target them. They often use images on social media to find potential victims, and posting photos of your child can make them easy prey. In addition, there is some online bullying issues that older kids have.”

What is the legal issue we need to know?

“Despite what people think, there are actually very few laws that keep a stranger from using or posting pictures that can be put on the internet to the public sphere,” McNairy said. “Some states have started to pass some more restrictions to protect children, but the basic idea is that any photograph of your child can be used without your consent if it’s used for editorial purposes and not some prohibited use, like a violation of any child pornography laws or used for sexual or predatory purposes. So, a lot of people think there is protection there for children or there has to be made but thats just not the case.”

What advice do you have for parents?

“Every expert will tell you in addition to, setting more social media accounts to a setting of used by friends only,” McNairy said. “The biggest thing is make sure you exclude sensitive information such as whole name, date of birth, city, school name, grade teachers name, none of that information should be inlcuded in any post. Of course, if you are posting other childrne make sure to get parents permission.”