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Making the internet a safer (and better) place for children

The internet has quickly become a necessity rather than a luxury in children’s lives. Parents, educators and governments are struggling to keep up with the risks and opportunities it brings. Sonia Livingstone takes a critical look at the plans for an Internet Safety Strategy. She argues that digital literacy needs to be taught in a way that extends far beyond the […]

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    Risks to children online are increasingly problematic. Is the new internet Safety Strategy the solution?

Risks to children online are increasingly problematic. Is the new internet Safety Strategy the solution?

Earlier this month, UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley outlined proposals intended to make Britain ‘the safest place in the world to be online,’ addressing ‘dangers like cyber-bullying, trolling and under-age access to porn.’ LSE Professor Sonia Livingstone, who was commissioned by DCMS in February to provide up to date evidence of how young people are using the internet and the […]

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    Children’s privacy rights are prominent in the Data Protection Bill but there’s many a slip…

Children’s privacy rights are prominent in the Data Protection Bill but there’s many a slip…

Last week, the UK government announced its plans for a new Data Protection Bill that would give people “more control over their personal data” and enable them to be be “better protected in the digital age.” LSE’s Sonia Livingstone looks the implications of the Bill for child rights and highlights areas that might need more work. 

Unexpectedly for many interested […]

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    If children don’t know an ad from information, how can they grasp how companies use their personal data?

If children don’t know an ad from information, how can they grasp how companies use their personal data?

All EU member states have until May 2018 to incorporate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into British law. Article 8 states that, unless member states decide otherwise, children under the age of 16 years old will require parental permission to use “information society services”, which refers to most online resources. Most provisions of the GDPR are to improve […]

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    It’s time to anticipate child rights issues in designing online services and policies for their use

It’s time to anticipate child rights issues in designing online services and policies for their use

The internet offers a range of advantages but also a multitude of risks for children who are using it. Two key issues in this context are the need for developing critical literacy skills as well as the lack of child-centered design in online applications. In this post, LSE Professor Sonia Livingstone, who is currently contributing to the UK Government’s […]

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    Where are the age restrictions on children’s use of Instagram?

Where are the age restrictions on children’s use of Instagram?

The UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley has just announced a new Internet Safety Strategy to crack down on risks to children such as cyber-bullying, sexting and online trolls. One way that tech companies claim to protect children is through setting age limits – usually 13 years old – for the use of their […]

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    The EU Must Ensure Data Protection & Digital Marketing Safeguards for both Children & Adolescents (and that includes you too, UK!)

The EU Must Ensure Data Protection & Digital Marketing Safeguards for both Children & Adolescents (and that includes you too, UK!)

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will, among efforts to tackle how to best safeguard children’s data, require parental consent for young people under the age of 16 who use digital services such as social media. Jeff Chester, executive director of the US-based Center for Digital Democracy, played a lead role establishing COPPA, including spearheading its 2012 update by […]

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    Risks and opportunities for young people online: a teenager’s perspective of the GDPR

Risks and opportunities for young people online: a teenager’s perspective of the GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to become law across the European Union in May 2018. As we have seen, a range of provisions within the GDPR are of particular importance to children and teenagers and their rights to participation and protection, including the proposal that under 16 year-olds should require parental consent to register for social […]

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    Is parental consent the way forward, or is the GDPR the end of young people’s freedom to roam digitally?

Is parental consent the way forward, or is the GDPR the end of young people’s freedom to roam digitally?

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to become law in May 2018, contains several provisions highly relevant to children and young people. Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of Parent Zone, argues here that we need to consider the challenges posed to parents by proposals to require parental consent for children under 16 to use online services.

Throughout this blog series, we […]

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    Which social media services should be regulated for harm reduction?

Which social media services should be regulated for harm reduction?

This blog first appeared on the Carnegie UK Trust website on 8 May 2018. This blog is the fifth in a programme of work on a proposed new regulatory framework to reduce the harm occurring on and facilitated by social media services. The authors William Perrin and Lorna Woods have vast experience in regulation and free speech issues. William has worked on technology […]