Do you share information about your children on social media, mobile apps or online forums? Do you use smart or artificial intelligence technologies (such as home hubs, toys etc.) in your family home? Have you ever wondered what are the implications of these digital practices for children’s privacy and how digital traces can impact on your children’s future? If yes, this website is designed for you.
In the last year, a lot of news articles have been published that blame parents for sharing information of their children online (see Resources). The underlying assumption is that posting information online does not only impact on our children’s right to privacy but on the ways in which they can build their public identity in the future. Children’s digital traces are perceived as deeply problematic.
There is – of course – a lot of truth in this, especially if we consider the issue of digital profiling. Yet, as this website aims to show, it is essential that we avoid moral panics.
Rather than feeling guilty about how much and what we post online (as if we need to find another excuse to feel guilty) what we need now is an informed, thorough and critical debate about how much digital data we produce and what solutions we have to protect our children’s privacy.
This website is aimed at informing different audiences, including researchers, about the developments and key findings of the Child | Data | Citizen project. However, the website is also designed for you. The For Families page will thus keep you updated with the latest debates on children’s digital traces, and provide you with important information and resources that can enable you to make an informed decision about your technological use.
The Things to Know section will be filled with links to videos, newspaper articles and other resources that can enable you to gain an overall understanding of key issues. This section will also offer you tips and practical advice on how to protect the online privacy of your family.
If you are interested in following the research project, and finding out a bit more about what I find as I talk to parents, carry out focus groups, analyse data policies and narratives, you can follow my Research Findings.
There will be some terms that you will find obscure. This is very common within academic research. Academic language is often inaccessible and confined to the walled gardens of academic knowledge. This is why I have created a list of Key Concepts, which will help you to navigate the site.
If you are simply interested in finding out what people are saying about children’s digital traces and you are curious to find out more about my opinion on the new technological developments that are impacting on children’s privacy you can follow the News and the Resources sections. Do get in touch with me if you are interested in participating to the project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!