Woman Sues Parents Over Embarrassing Childhood Photos Posted To Facebook

Experts Weigh In On Whether She Has Legal Recourse

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a lot posted on social media that we don’t like, but one Austrian woman is suing her parents for posting old childhood pictures of her on their Facebook page.

“We all have these awkward family photographs,” says Andrew Conte, the director of Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation.

In this case, pictures of the woman potty training, diaper changing, and even lying naked on a cot, all taken by her family and posted by her father who refuses to delete them.

“It’s not hard to imagine the same situation happening to any of us,” Conte says.

He says this is a growing issue.

“Everyone who takes an image, then puts it up, and they put it on a social media site where now all your family sees it, your friends see it, future employers see it,” says Conte. “So they’re all these consequences that a decade ago, two decades ago certainly, we didn’t have to worry about.”

But now it’s happening often.

“I have had that happen, and I have come to the person who took the photo and asked them to take it down before. Nothing serious, I just wasn’t a big fan of just the way I looked in it, and they refused, and it’s a really unfortunate situation to be in,” says Alexa Kennedy, of Oakland.

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But, if it happens to you, do you have any legal recourse?

“Perhaps. It depends on what the photograph is, what are the terms, what are the relationships between the people, and when it’s taken,” says Jacob Rooksby, a law professor at Duquesne University Law School.

Rooksby says that unless the photos are newsworthy or you consented to the photo, you may be able to sue.

“You have a privacy right in your image, so no one can use your likeness for their benefit without your permission,” Rooksby says.

But it won’t be easy to sue; and some just say get over it, it’s not that big a deal.

“If there’s a picture of it, who cares? It’s you whether it’s a good side of you or a bad side of you; it’s still who you are,” says Gary Mazur, of Ross Township. “You can’t really change or pretty up what you want to pretty up. You are what you are.”

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