Web shop AliExpress uses West Flemish 3-year’s photo unbeknown to his parents

A mother from Torhout in West Flanders was shocked to discover that a photograph of her 3-year-old son featured on the website of the Chinese web shop AliExpress. The web shop that is part of the Alibaba Group used the picture of Phaedra Tyteca’s son Milo without asking her or his father’s permission. The photo used by AliExpress was of Milo’s first day a nursery and had been taken from Ms Tyteca’s Instagram page. Phaedra Tyteca told VRT Radio 2 West Flanders that the rucksack in the photograph next to Milo hadn’t even been bought from AliExpress. Nevertheless, the web shop used the photo of the toddler taken from his mother’s Instagram account on its site to sell one of its products.


"I discovered the photograph yesterday. It was taken more than a year ago and posted on my Instagram page. I never gave permission for them to use the photo. It gave me a strange feeling to see a picture of my son on a Chinese web shop site".

"I had bought a new satchel for Milo’s first day at school from a shop in Roeselare. Meanwhile, AliExpress has started selling the same satchel. I once gave smaller shops permission to use photographs of my son, but all of this asked for permission. I never heard anything from AliExpress

"I have reported AliExpress’ advertisement, but have as yet heard nothing. I have also sent an e-mail to the manufacturer of the satchel, because I don’t know whether they are aware that their satchels are being sold on AliExpress", Ms Tyteca told VRT Radio 2.

Ms Tyteca says that in future she intends to be more cautious when using social media. "I am considering making my Instagram profile private in order to protect the privacy of my son a little more”.

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