A photo of your kid could cost you $2,200

March 31, 2018 - 09:00

Minh Hằng is proud of her 14-year-old daughter and, like many parents, often posts pictures and videos of her on social media.

Children play at Nguyễn Văn Cừ Park in the northern province of Bắc Ninh. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Thương
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Minh Hằng is proud of her 14-year-old daughter and, like many parents, often posts pictures and videos of her on social media.

To Hằng, this is a perfectly normal thing for any mother to do.

She was shocked though when she heard about a draft decree, compiled by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, that proposes allowing children to sue their parents if the child disagrees with their private information being posted online.

Under the draft, the person who revealed private information of children could be fined up to VNĐ50 million (US$2,200).

“If the decree takes effect, mothers like me will have to carefully consider before posting any photos or video clips containing private information of my children on the internet,” she added.

Hundreds of other parents were stunned to learn of the draft decree, the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper reported.

Better children protection

The aim of the draft decree is to better protect children across Việt Nam.

Nguyễn Thị Nga, deputy head of the Child Protection and Care Department, said the draft decree was created as part of a series of regulations on child protection that other ministries and sectors had issued before.

Additionally, revealing private information of children was already banned in the current Law on Child Protection, she said.

The ministry has been gathering feedback from experts, organisations, individuals and agencies for the draft decree since March 16, and will continue to do so until May 16, she added.

Article 34 of the draft decree says any individual or organisation that wants to post information, including photos and videos, of a child online, has to get the child’s permission if the child is above seven years old. If the child is under 7 years old, the person has to receive agreement from the child’s parents or guardians.

Previously, Government Decree 56/2017/NĐ-CP, signed by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in 2017, also regulated that before publishing private information of a child on the internet, network service providers and individuals must have permission from the child’s parents or guardians and the child if he/she is above seven years old.

Additionally, children above the age of seven and parents or guardians can ask providers to delete all online images and personal information of their children.

Network service providers are responsible for providing supportive measures and tools to protect children’s personal information online and publishing a list of online products and services safe for children and removing all images and content unsuitable for children.

Answering the question of the feasibility of the fine, Hà Đình Bốn, head of the ministry’s Legal Affairs Department admitted that since the Law on Child Protection 2014, dealing with violations had been ineffective.

The ministry was reviewing the law in an attempt to fix the situation, he said. —VNS