A Warning to Schools: More Than Two-Thirds of Parents Say They Would Take Legal Action if Their Child’s Photos Were Misused

A new survey by one of the world’s leading consent-driven media management platforms, pixevety, finds gaps between common practices and parents’ wishes around student privacy


Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 4, 2024 — A recent survey by pixevety, one of the world’s leading K-12 consent-driven media management platforms, highlights changing trends and major problems in the protection of digital images of US students.

The survey, conducted to better understand US parental attitudes on student images and privacy, revealed – surprisingly or unsurprisingly – that 68% of parents would litigate if they found their school had used images of their child improperly.

This finding, in conjunction with the extensive capture, storage, and online sharing of millions of student photos and videos by U.S. schools annually, should peak concern amongst schools to check their student image sharing practices. For example, in a single 2022 analysis of some 18 million student photos, researchers found almost 5 million instances where students are identifiable.

Alongside this shocking new insight, the survey also highlighted several areas where challenges remain:

Parents Underestimate the Number of Photos Captured by Schools

  • 68% of parents vastly underestimate the number of photos U.S. schools capture and store each year, which on average is around 65,000 photos.

 Parental Consent and Control is Lacking

  • 93% of parents say they should have control over images of their children, yet 42% say a teacher or school has shared a photo or video of their child without permission.
  • 82% of parents believe it’s important to be able to update their consent easily, but only 41% report it is very easy for them to do.
  • Parents of public school students are less likely or less able to monitor content involving their children than private school parents are.

Many schools throughout the US are inadvertently violating privacy laws because they lack rigorous privacy policies, procedures, and privacy-enhancing technology necessary for automating compliance.

“The main takeaway from the survey is that parents want more control over student content than ever before,” said pixevety CEO and Co-Founder Colin Anson. “As thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of educators continue to capture large amounts of content, the task of organizing, storing, and protecting that content threatens to overwhelm schools. This is why advanced technology to streamline the various media management and consent processes involved has a crucial role to play in protecting students in the digital landscape.”

As a marker of just how intertwined parental consent and involvement are with managing digital content and safeguarding students’ privacy, this new survey underscores the importance of bringing seamless media management solutions into U.S. schools in the years ahead.

The survey, “Parental Attitudes Around Student Privacy and Protection of Photos,” received 375 responses via SurveyMonkey and was conducted in the U.S. from March 10-12, 2024.

About pixevety

pixevety is an easy-to-use online platform that offers a hassle-free solution to reduce the daily stress and privacy pitfalls of managing and sharing photos and videos of children. For schools and parents, pixevety offers state-of-the-art, real-time consent technology that helps reduce privacy and data breach risks. It provides efficient management of student and staff photos and videos in one central place to safely share with an entire school community, while adhering to the consent wishes of parents and guardians via auto consent checks and secure face recognition technology. Saving time, resources and money, pixevety is simple, safe, smart, and secure. Learn more at www.pixevety.com.

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