The Catalan Data Protection Authority promotes the responsible publication of images of minors on the Internet and social networks. Coinciding with World Internet Day, APDCAT has developed guidelines for disseminating images of students in schools, in infographic and video format, for distribution among schools with the support of the Department of Education.
The aim is to raise awareness of the protection of the privacy of minors and young people, who enjoy special protection recognized in international law. The aim is to reach out to both teachers and school management teams, as well as parents and guardians, in order to spread good practices in order to preserve the rights of minors.
The new disclosure material addresses some of the practices detected that may lead to an overexposure of the child's personal information, with risks to their privacy, even if they have valid consent to disseminate it.
According to the latest available data, more than half of the schools regularly and openly post a large volume of photographs and videos with clearly identifiable students, both on the centre's website and on social media. This means that you lose control of your images and make them available on the internet to anyone, indefinitely.
In this sense, the APDCAT reminds, on the one hand, that only the essential data should be made public and that, if the same purpose can be achieved, they should be published without identifying minors. It also warns that images of minors should not be disseminated in real time, which facilitates their geolocation, and recommends that information on the ordinary and extraordinary activity of the school be communicated to families in confined spaces, such as the intranet of the center.
On the other hand, he points out that it should not be published on the centre's website and social networks without the consent of the parents, legal guardians or the minors themselves, if they are over 14 years old. In particular, consent must be given freely and unequivocally and must be specific to each data processing; and in the case of minor images, it must be broken down and separated from other data processing. In any case, people need to be given the ability to choose and control. They must be able to deny that their data will be made public, without prejudice to the student.
The guidelines are available on the apdcat.cat website and will be disseminated on social media. They will also be made available to the Department of Education, so that it can make them known through the Xarxa Telemàtica Educativa de Catalunya (XTEC).