The Korea Herald


'Sharenting' is growing problem in Korea

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : May 5, 2023 - 14:17

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A growing number of parents around the world are recording the lives of their children and posting them on social media to cherish and proudly share their kids' most precious moments. But from the perspective of the children, such practices often lead to the unwanted exposure of their identities on the internet.

South Korea has been working to create legal frameworks to ensure children's rights are not forgotten on the internet. Only when they grow up will they begin to fully comprehend what it means to leave a permanent mark on the internet, as children are unlikely to be able to give informed consent to their parents for uploading images and videos of them at such a young age.

The government has pledged to enact a new set of laws as early as next year to allow children to have the right to delete private records of their past before the age of 18 posted to the internet by a third party, including their parents.

According to the Personal Information Protection Commission, there is no legal ground for Korean children to exercise their rights to take down such online records owned by a third party.

The government body on April 24 started accepting applications of those aged 24 or younger to remove photos or videos online posted by themselves. These include links to copies of content owned by themselves and shared by a third party. Applicants will be required to submit proof that the content is owned by themselves.

While the government has begun offering advice to deal with content owned by parents, as well as other third party entities like cyber criminals, its measures against unwanted posts will be fully enforced with passing of legislation which is tentatively titled the Act on the Personal Information Protection of Children and Youth.

Finding a middle ground between protecting the applicant's right to privacy and upholding the third party's right to freedom of expression will be key to the legislation, according to the government, which unveiled the first blueprint of the act in 2022.

The government said in April it was working to collect the opinions of academic and business experts, as well as of civic rights groups, to determine the scope of children's content online.