Quarter of children have digital presence before they are even born

computer baby.jpgNew research from internet security specialists AVG suggests that a quarter of the world’s children have a digital footprint before they are even born. Over-eager parents are setting up email addresses, social networking pages and uploading ante-natal scans before the little-uns have even seen daylight.

According to the research, 81% of children under two currently have some kind of digital dossier or footprint, with images of them posted online. Though the average digital birth of children happens at around six months, a third (33%) of children have information and photos online within weeks of being born. Full details of the findings can be found at the bottom of this post.

AVG CEO JR Smith comments, “It’s a sobering thought that while a 30-year-old has an online footprint stretching back at most 10-15 years, the vast majority of children today have online presence by the time they are two-years-old – a presence that will be built on throughout their whole lives.

“Our research shows that the trend is increasingly for a child’s digital birth to coincide and in many cases pre-date their real ones. A quarter of babies have scans posted online before they have even physically come into the world. It’s completely understandable why proud parents would want to upload and share images of very young children with friends and families.”

However, Smith asks parents to consider the implications of entering their children into the online sphere from such an early age.

“First of all, you are creating a digital history for a human being that will follow him or her around for the rest of their life. What kind of footprint do you actually want to start for your child, and what will they think about the information you’ve uploaded in future?

“Secondly, it reinforces the need for parents to be aware of the privacy settings they have set on their social network profiles. Otherwise, you maybe sharing your baby’s picture not only your friends and family but with the whole online world.”

Key results

1 – Mothers with children aged under two that have uploaded images of their child
Overall – 81%
USA – 92%
Canada – 84%


UK – 81%
France – 74%
Italy – 68%
Germany – 71%
Spain – 71%
(EU5 – 73%)

Australia – 84%
New Zealand – 91%
Japan – 43%

2 – Mothers that uploaded images of their newborn
Overall – 33%  

USA – 33% 
Canada – 37% 

UK – 37% 
France – 26% 
Italy – 26% 
Germany – 30% 
Spain – 24% 
(EU5 – 28.6%)

Australia – 41% 
New Zealand – 41% 
Japan – 19% 

3 – Mothers that have uploaded antenatal scans online
Overall – 23%

USA – 34%
Canada – 37%

UK – 23%
France – 13%
Italy – 14%
Germany – 15%
Spain – 24%
(EU5 – 20%)

Australia – 26%
New Zealand – 30%
Japan – 14%

4 – Mothers that gave their baby an email address
Overall – 7%

USA – 6%
Canada – 9%

UK – 4%
France – 7%
Italy – 7%
Germany – 7%
Spain – 12%
(EU5 – 7%)

Australia – 7%
New Zealand – 4%
Japan – 7%

5 – Mothers that gave their baby a social network profile
Overall – 5%

USA – 6%
Canada – 8%

UK – 4%
France – 2%
Italy – 5%
Germany – 5%
Spain – 7%
(EU5 – 5%)

Australia – 5%
New Zealand – 6%
Japan -8%

By Gerald Lynch | October 7th, 2010





Gerald LynchQuarter of children have digital presence before they are even born
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