New legal framework for children’s privacy

On 19 February 2024, the French National Assembly published a bill aimed at safeguarding children's image rights (LOI n° 2024-120 du 19 février 2024 visant à garantir le respect du droit à l'image des enfants). 

This legislation incorporates the concept of "private life" into the definition of parental authority outlined in Article 371-1 of the French Civil Code, alongside considerations such as "safety" and "health". 

The bill emphasises the joint responsibility of both parents in protecting a minor's image rights, while also taking into account the child's viewpoint "according to his or her age and level of maturity". 

In cases where parental consensus regarding the exercise of these rights cannot be reached, the law empowers judges to restrict one parent from publishing or disseminating any content related to the child without the other parent's authorisation. 

Although parents are still permitted to share photos or videos of children under 13, judicial intervention is possible if such publication is deemed to compromise the child's dignity or moral integrity. 

These provisions must be considered considering the establishment of a digital majority in France, which imposes restrictions on minors' access to social networks. According to this regulation, social networking platforms are required to refuse registration for individuals under the age of 15 unless parental authorisation is obtained. Consequently, minors under 15 years of age are prohibited from becoming accessing social medias in France without parental approval.

 

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