Future of Privacy Forum Releases New Youth Privacy and Data Protection Infographic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) today released a new infographic, Youth Privacy and Data Protection 101 which provides an overview of the opportunities and risks for kids online, along with potential protection strategies. It also features young people’s voices from around the world on their preferences and attitudes toward privacy.
“We all want to keep kids safe online, but the desire to shield them from risk can also limit their access to important opportunities,” said Amelia Vance, FPF’s Director of Youth and Education Privacy. “When considering any protection strategies, policymakers must carefully evaluate both opportunity and risk in order to foster the development of a robust, thriving online ecosystem that is also suitable for kids. We hope that this infographic effectively conveys that challenge, as well as the diversity of approaches to youth privacy protections being considered and implemented around the world.”
View the infographic and an accompanying blog post here.
Risks for youth online include well-known concerns such as coming across age-inappropriate content, encountering predators, and being a victim of cyberbullying or cyber harassment. Other, less visible risks include commercial exploitation through profiling and targeted marketing as well as societal shifts such as surveillance normalization, as young people may become accustomed to constantly being watched and recorded.
Of course, there are also a wealth of opportunities for youth online. With school closures due to the pandemic, many students now access their education virtually. Unable to connect with their friends and communities in person, young people rely on social media and other online tools to play, build their communities, explore their identities, and participate in civic and political forums. Online spaces are also integral to fostering creative expression and providing resources related to health and well-being.
The Youth Privacy and Data Protection 101 infographic highlights the range of strategies that governments, online service providers, educators, parents, and others can use and encourage to find that appropriate balance between protecting kids online and not limiting their opportunities. These strategies include things like limiting access to age-inappropriate content, requiring age verification prior to accessing a service, and incorporating privacy into services by default. Those strategies and others that policymakers may wish to consider are discussed in detail in FPF’s latest blog post, available here.