In the lively debate about privacy and data protection in the digital age, the voices and experiences of children are largely absent, as is attention to their specific needs, rights and opportunities beyond, arguably, a panicky risk discourse that presumptively speaks for yet rarely hears from children. This is problematic because children constitute a significant segment of the online population, often pioneering in their adoption of new services and experimental in their digital practices, not easily incorporated into discussions of ‘the population’ or ‘the public’ or ‘users’ as a generality. Also, as with the canary in the coal mine, provision for and abuses of children’s privacy online have turned out to be indicative of problems now affecting the wider population: it is not only children who do not read or understand terms and conditions, not only children prepared to trade their personal data for free services, not only children who struggle to exercise their right to protect or retrieve or delete their data. In this presentation, I will consider what we know of children’s privacy and data literacy, and argue that a governance regime that treats children fairly will be one that works for everyone.

The hashtag to use for tweeting about this event is #oiicolloquia

About the speakers

  • Sonia Livingstone

    London School of Economics and Political Science

    Sonia Livingstone OBE is a professor of Social Psychology and former head of the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has dedicated much of her research to children, media and the Internet. She is author or editor of eighteen books and many academic articles and chapters. She has been visiting professor at the Universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Harvard, Illinois, Milan, Paris II, and Stockholm, and is on the editorial board of several leading journals. From 2007 to 2008, she served as President of the International Communication Association (ICA). Sonia Livingstone was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 “for services to children and child Internet safety.