According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR,) information society services that wish to process any personal information related to a child under the age of 16 years will require parental/guardian consent. The GDPR is the European Commission’s tool that will unify data protection in the EU and there are plans for it to be adopted in 2018. In the most recent GDPR draft released by the European Council, the age limit where parental consent is mandatory has raised from 13 to 16 years. The implications for children digital rights are not well understood and, at the moment, nobody knows if this regulation will protect children or by the contrary make them more vulnerable. Something certain is that, until now, minimal consultation to incorporate the children voice has taken place and consequently, children’s digital rights are not being treated with the respect or seriousness they deserve.
Young people are a highly vulnerable group on social media. Current research (summarised here https://www.nspcc.org.uk/services-and-resources/research-and-resources/2015/how-safe-are-our-children-2015/ ) suggests that 1 in 3 have been victims of cyber bullying and 1 in 4 have experienced something upsetting on a social media site. The ‘Digital Wildfire’ project (www.digitalwildfire.org) explores the spread of provocative and antagonistic content on social media and seeks to identify opportunities for the responsible governance of digital social spaces. As part of this we have spent time engaging with young people and school teachers to find out their views on social media and the harms it can cause.
CaSMa hosted, in collaboration with the Wildfires team, a workshop on how rumours, provocative content and (mis)information flows and goes viral on social media.
This is a serious problem which can lead to confrontation between freedom of information and societal safety. Self-regulation is a solution, however, how to promote self-regulation and awareness is the real challenge. Continue reading Digital Wildfires
This week we have a guest post by Penny Polson, who has been a Research Assistant on the POET tool for the past three months. Penny has been building on the qualitative analysis skills she attained in her dissertation project (regarding attitudes regarding fish pain) to investigate the experiences of academics who use social media. In this blog, she focuses on the important distinction made between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ use of Twitter accounts, and how those terms become blurred once public engagement and specifically Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are considered.