Austrian Teen Suing Parents for Sharing an Excess of Baby Pictures

A teenager in Austria has been getting the royal treatment from her parents since birth. She's had every precious moment of her growth cataloged and saved, even put on display for others to see. Now, these aren't just your run-of-the-mill pictures. Endearing images of babyhood are one thing, a soiled diaper is quite another. These parents have captured and shared images of their now 18-year-old daughter sitting on the toilet, in various states of dress, and in other embarrassing situations to Facebook.

The parents, from the Austrian state of Carinthia, have published 500 childhood photos of their daughter since 2009. With their Facebook friends hovering somewhere around 700, it's no wonder she's embarrassed enough to take action.

According to the teen, who remains unnamed, she has repeatedly asked her parents to stop sharing the photos to no avail. In her father's eyes, publishing the photos is his right, "After all it's our children and, for my wife and myself, it's a nice family album that goes down well with our Facebook friends," he said to Austrian magazine Die ganze Woche.

Now that the teen has turned 18, she is able to sue her parents for violating her right to a personal life. In response to queries, she has said, "They knew no shame and no limit ... every stage was photographed and then made public." Michael Rami will be serving as her legal adviser, according to The Local 

It will be the first case of its kind in the country, though related cases are becoming more and more commonplace in our overly-connected world. In comparing his case to others worldwide, Rami said that financial compensation for the teen's suffering due to her parents' actions is very possible. Come November, the case will go to trial.

Our dependence on digital means that a new breed of legal measures must be meted out to match the times. Austria's privacy laws for social media are a bit behind. In France and Germany, it is now punishable by law to share pictures of someone without their consent. The penalty: up to one year in prison and a fine of up to €45,000. This includes parents who may have taken that funny picture of their kid mucking about naked in the mud, but who have no right to spread it to all reaches of the internet.

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