The Right to

Children and young people have the right to know who is holding or profiting from their information, what their information is being used for and whether it is being copied, sold or traded.

By facilitating a tick-box culture we are telling children that their personal information has little or no value. Meanwhile companies and organisations gather children’s data at an unprecedented rate.

Online entities have been collecting, selling or using the data of young people for purposes that are unknown and may be unwanted. This data gathering transfers wholesale rights and information (however intimate) from the user to the provider, often in perpetuity, perhaps even for purposes not yet determined or explained.

The terms and conditions associated with the services provided are routinely long and complex. There is little chance that any minor understands their meaning. This business practice is exploitative of young people’s desire and need to use digital technology.

Children and young people routinely share information online without understanding what the current and future consequences may be. Privacy settings and policies should clearly outline the visibility of the user and the ways in which their actions may be recorded and shared by those in their social world and by the broader community (educational institutions, companies, government, etc.). Children and young people can take more responsibility for sharing personal information if they are clear about what it may be used for.

It must be right that children and young people are only asked to hand over personal data when they have the capacity to understand they are doing so and what their decision means. It must be also be right that terms and conditions aimed at young people are written so that typical minors can easily understand them.

Through the eyes of young people:

“What we post online is permanent”

“If we put some immature content online, it could affect our ability to find jobs.”

“Sometimes people don’t think before they act and they can be mean to someone without knowing and wish to take it down later.”