On the 18th of November, I was delighted to talk about my research at the Digital Action Lab at the Global Child Forum, alongside other impressive researchers and speakers to advocate the importance of protecting children’s rights.
What impressed me most about the event, from the forward by HRH Princess Sofia and the concluding remarks of HRH Queen Sylvia to the research presentation of tech-law scholar Prof Dr. Eva Lievens (Ghent University) and the powerful points raised by Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion (Privacy International) was the acknowledgement that when we are talking about children’s data rights we are not only talking about their right to privacy but also about the rights as citizens.
The panel called for a change and for greater measures to protect children’s rights. One of such measure should be the acknowledgement of the responsibility of companies and the importance ethical choices. As Martyn Farrows has shown with the example of Soapbox Labs, it is possible to develop child-tech (and they focus on voice-recognition technologies) purely based on privacy by design. It is also possible to re-imagine a different society which is not ruled by data and the tracking of children from before birth.