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

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 […]

Privacy, data protection and the evolving capacity of the child: what the evidence tells us

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England has just published a new report looking at how vast amounts of children’s data is collected, and calling on internet giants and other companies to be transparent about how they are capturing information about children and how it is being used. Sonia Livingstone, LSE Professor of Social Psychology, Mariya Stoilova, researcher […]

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    Media literacy: what are the challenges and how can we move towards a solution?

Media literacy: what are the challenges and how can we move towards a solution?

As governments seek to tackle a variety of problems of the digital age, media (or digital) literacy is often cited as the solution, partly because it is far less controversial than attempting to regulate the internet. LSE Professor Sonia Livingstone, chair of the LSE Commission on Truth, Trust and Technology, stresses the complexity of the challenges involved in improving media literacy, and the first steps that […]

Time to rethink truth and trust

Trust in tech – or the lack of it – is at the heart of much public anxiety about the digital age. That’s one reason why we have embarked on a major Truth, Trust and Technology Commission. Sonia Livingstone OBE, LSE Professor of Social Psychology and Chair of the Commission, who spoke at Digital Agenda’s Power and Responsibility Summit […]

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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 […]