Sonia Livingstone

About Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone OBE is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. Taking a comparative, critical and contextual approach, her research examines how the changing conditions of mediation are reshaping everyday practices and possibilities for action. She has published twenty books on media audiences, media literacy and media regulation, with a particular focus on the opportunities and risks of digital media use in the everyday lives of children and young people. Her most recent book is The class: living and learning in the digital age (2016, with Julian Sefton-Green). Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe and other national and international organisations on children’s rights, risks and safety in the digital age. She was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 'for services to children and child internet safety.' Sonia Livingstone is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the British Psychological Society, the Royal Society for the Arts and fellow and past President of the International Communication Association (ICA). She has been visiting professor at the Universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Harvard, Illinois, Milan, Oslo, Paris II, Pennsylvania, and Stockholm, and is on the editorial board of several leading journals. She is on the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation’s Ethics Committee, is an Expert Advisor to the Council of Europe, and was recently Special Advisor to the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Communications, among other roles. Sonia has received many awards and honours, including honorary doctorates from the University of Montreal, Université Panthéon Assas, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the University of the Basque Country, and the University of Copenhagen. She is currently leading the project Global Kids Online (with UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti and EU Kids Online), researching children’s understanding of digital privacy (funded by the Information Commissioner’s Office) and writing a book with Alicia Blum-Ross called ‘Parenting for a Digital Future (Oxford University Press), among other research, impact and writing projects. Sonia is chairing LSE’s Truth, Trust and Technology Commission in 2017-2018, and participates in the European Commission-funded research networks, DigiLitEY and MakEY. She runs a blog called www.parenting.digital and contributes to the LSE’s Media Policy Project blog. Follow her on Twitter @Livingstone_S
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    Data and privacy in the digital age: from evidence to policy

Data and privacy in the digital age: from evidence to policy

What do children know, and want to know, about where their data goes? The Children’s Data and Privacy Online project, funded by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), recently launched its final report and an online privacy toolkit at a multistakeholder seminar at LSE. LSE’s Gianfranco Polizzi and Professor Sonia Livingstone explain the project’s key research findings and recommendations.

We live […]

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    Revenge pornography and online hate content: the evidence underpinning calls for regulating online harms in the UK

Revenge pornography and online hate content: the evidence underpinning calls for regulating online harms in the UK

The consultation on the Online Harms White Paper, published jointly by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office, closes on July 1. It calls for a new system of regulation for tech companies with the goal of preventing online harm. Julia Davidson and Sonia Livingstone were part of a group commissioned by DCMS […]

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    What should we teach children about online privacy, and how?

What should we teach children about online privacy, and how?

As children use more online services, concern has been growing about the increasing amounts of data that they share with tech companies, as evidenced by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office’s efforts to create a code of practice that would outline age-appropriate design principles for online services likely to be accessed by children. Here, the LSE’s Professor Sonia Livingstone, Mariya Stoilova and Rishita Nandagiri […]

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    Putting children at the centre: is re-designing the digital environment possible?

Putting children at the centre: is re-designing the digital environment possible?

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently sought views on a draft code of practice on Age appropriate design, aimed at online services likely to be accessed by children. Here, LSE’s Mariya Stoilova and Sonia Livingstone explain the code’s key challenges that they believe must be resolved. Next week, they will launch new findings from the project Children’s data and privacy online: growing […]

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    Where does your data go? Developing a research methodology for children’s online privacy

Where does your data go? Developing a research methodology for children’s online privacy

With growing concerns over children’s online privacy and the commercial uses of their data, it is vital that children’s understandings of the digital environment, their digital skills and their capacity to consent are taken into account in designing services, regulation and policy. Mariya Stoilova, Rishita Nandagiri and Sonia Livingstone’s research project Children’s Data and Privacy Online set out to ask children […]

Rethinking the rights of children for the internet age

The internet is now 30 years old, making it the same age as the key formulation of children’s rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the intervening years, our understanding of the transformative effects of the internet on both society and children have developed in tandem. In this post Sonia Livingstone outlines some of the issues raised […]

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    Children’s personal privacy online – it’s neither personal nor private

Children’s personal privacy online – it’s neither personal nor private

Today is Data Privacy Day, celebrated annually to raise awareness about people’s rights and good practice when it comes to data protection and privacy. Here, the LSE’s Professor Sonia Livingstone, Mariya Stoilova and Rishita Nandagiri explain the findings of their recent research into children’s data and privacy online. 

Data Privacy Day invites us to consider that children’s online activities are the focus of a multitude of […]

11 key readings on children’s data and privacy online

The almost daily news stories on data privacy and data breaches – including those affecting children – raise urgent questions as everyday activities and actions generate data that are recorded, tracked,  collated, analysed and monetised by a range of actors. Rishita Nandagiri, Sonia Livingstone and Mariya Stoilova discuss their systematic evidence mapping of studies of how children themselves understand […]

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    Protection of children online: does current regulation deliver?

Protection of children online: does current regulation deliver?

More children are going online, more frequently, via more devices and services, at ever-younger ages. The internet and accompanying technological developments offer huge opportunities for children, but they also pose risks to minors’ safety, wellbeing and rights. Despite new and revised legislation, a policy brief published today argues that the current European legislative framework is insufficient. Two of the […]

Truth, Trust and Technology – so what’s the problem?

As policy makers in the UK and elsewhere consider how to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes, the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission published its report earlier this week, ‘Tackling the Information Crisis: A Policy Framework for Media System Resilience.’ Professor Sonia Livingstone, Chair of the Commission, explains here some of the problems the report seeks […]