Information Technology and Ethics/Privacy and Children

Introduction edit

In recent years, protecting children's privacy has taken on greater significance, especially in light of how quickly technology is developing. Concerns about ethics and the law have been raised because children are particularly susceptible to having their personal information gathered and exploited without their awareness or agreement. In order to better comprehend the current situation and the difficulties that lie ahead, it is essential to look at the history of legal and ethical ideas related to privacy and children. This article tries to highlight some of the most important topics that are presently being discussed in this field and to give a quick review of the history of legal and ethical notions relating to privacy and children.

History edit

Recent technological developments that have made it simpler to obtain and utilize personal information without authorization have increased worry about protecting children's privacy. The development and adaption of legal and ethical ideas about children's privacy have been continuous throughout history. Children's privacy was not a worry in the early 20th century, and they were seen as extensions of their parents. But as the century went on, it became clearer and clearer that children's privacy needed to be protected.

To protect children's privacy rights, laws like the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) have been passed. The creation of kid privacy regulations has also been significantly influenced by ethical considerations. Numerous experts contend that children should be given legal protection for their right to privacy, which is separate from their parents' rights. In addition to legislative safeguards, there is a rising campaign to raise public awareness and education concerning children's privacy.

Overall, there has been constant change and adaptation throughout the history of legal and ethical notions relating to children's privacy. New ethical and legal issues will probably arise as technology develops, and the debate over children's privacy will probably continue to change[1]

Privacy Concerns edit

Online Grooming edit

Online grooming is the practice of predators forming relationships with youngsters on social media and the internet in order to sexually exploit or abuse them. Children, who might not be aware of the risks associated with online interactions with strangers, are a particular worry.

Cyberbullying edit

Peer harassment or bullying of a youngster through the internet is referred to as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying, which can result in sadness, anxiety, and other mental health problems, is especially dangerous for children.

Data collection edit

Businesses may gather children's personal information without their awareness or consent, which raises questions regarding how the information will be used and protected. This may contain private data like your name, age, location, and browsing history.

Social Media Risks edit

Children may not completely comprehend the hazards associated with disclosing personal information on social networking sites, which leaves them open to online predators or cyberbullies. Social networking sites may also gather personal data about children for other purposes, such as targeted advertising.

Exposure to Harmful Online Content edit

Children may come into contact with improper or dangerous materials online, such as violent or sexual content, hate speech, or extremist material. Their well-being and mental health may suffer as a result.

Summary edit

These privacy concerns must be taken seriously, and action must be taken to safeguard children's private rights. This includes informing kids about the dangers of disclosing private information online, making use of privacy settings on social media and other websites, and carefully reading the privacy statements of the applications and gadgets they use. To create efficient laws and policies that safeguard children's privacy in the digital era, parents, teachers, and lawmakers must collaborate.

Privacy Laws edit

In the digital age, there are several laws and rules in place to safeguard children's privacy. The following are a few of the important laws and rules:

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) edit

A federal legislation known as COPPA mandates that websites and online services get permission from parents before collecting personal data from children under the age of 13. The rule also mandates that businesses offer simple privacy policies that make it clear what data is being gathered and how it will be used.[2]

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) edit

GDPR is a law of the European Union that regulates data privacy and protection for all people, including minors. In accordance with the GDPR, businesses must get explicit agreement from minors under the age of 16 before collecting their personal information, and they must be open and honest about how they gather data.[3]

Consumer Privacy Act of California (CCPA) edit

A California state legislation known as the CCPA gives inhabitants of the Golden State the right to know what personal data is being collected about them, the ability to ask for the erasure of that data, and the right to refuse to have their personal data sold. The law also has particular guidelines for gathering personal data from minors under the age of 16.[4]

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) edit

FERPA is a federal statute that safeguards the confidentiality of student academic data. The legislation gives parents the opportunity to see and modify their child's educational records and mandates that schools acquire written parental approval before disclosing personally identifying information about their children.[5]

Children's privacy is protected by these laws and regulations, and it is ensured that businesses and organizations are held responsible for their data gathering and privacy policies. Understanding these regulations and taking action to preserve children's privacy rights in the digital era is crucial for parents and educators.

Importance of Privacy for Children edit

Children are using technology and the internet at higher rates than ever before due to technology’s increased accessibility. Similar to adults, children use the internet and technology to play online video games, chat with friends, use social media, research, watch TV or movies, and more! However, with all of the use of the internet, there is more opportunity for children to expose information about themselves that they might not intend. Additionally, parents may not be fully aware of all their childrens’ online activity. Not many parents have conversations with their children about cybersafety and privacy on the internet because they themselves may not understand the risk and consequences. Children are now at equal risk as adults for being traced by profit-seeking advertisers, cybercriminals, and even bullies.

Privacy is a fundamental human right. Data storage for minors are really strict because children’s information is deemed as extremely sensitive information. But even still, minors are on social media platforms that actively collect and store data for all users! Children need to be vigilant when talking to strangers online and what they post online. There are additional risks that come with being a child on the internet such as naivety, increased vulnerability due to an undeveloped frontal lobe, and then being a target of sexual exploitation or other child endangerment. Privacy awareness is key to protecting children from financial disaster, stalking, and exploitation by corporations and other types of businesses. Children face the same consequences as adults when it comes to breached privacy. Some of these issues include not understanding privacy policies by different websites and companies, exposure of information that is not intended to a wide audience.

Solutions for Privacy Issues related to Children edit

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection act was enacted in April 2000 to help address the problem of children's vulnerability to privacy breach on the internet. The law applies to the online collection of data for those under the age of 13 years old for United States jurisdictions. It provides websites information about how to handle privacy policies, when and how to seek parental/guardian consent on behalf of a child, and “what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online including restrictions on the marketing of those under 13.”

Cybersecurity and privacy education for children is a must when it comes to protecting children online and making sure they understand what they can and cannot share. Additionally, it is important that children understand that anything and everything they do online is likely to follow them. Key studies indicate that there are significant effects of using quiz and educational video to enhance best online safety beliefs and restrict online sharing. Additionally, the role of perceived parental influence are important to children and agencies that offer privacy education campaigns to help empower children to protect their privacy are beneficial.

Conclusion edit

In conclusion, privacy is an important feature of children's life, especially in the digital era. Children are exposed to a variety of privacy hazards due to the growing use of technology, which might jeopardize their safety and security. But now that rules and regulations have been established, there are safeguards in place to protect children's privacy. These rules and regulations mandate that businesses and organizations acquire parental permission before collecting children's personal information, disclose explicit information about how data is collected, and give parents access to and control over their children's educational records. Parents, teachers, and lawmakers must be aware of these rules and regulations and take proactive measures to safeguard children's privacy in the digital era. By doing this, we can make it safer and more secure for kids to develop and thrive online.

  1. "1. Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., & Mitchell, K. J. (2018). Child victimization: Emerging issues and new directions in research and intervention. Journal of interpersonal violence, 33(7), 1059-1079.". {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  2. "Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ("COPPA")". Federal Trade Commission. 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2023-04-25.
  3. Kuner, Christopher; Bygrave, Lee A.; Docksey, Christopher (2020-02-13), "Background and Evolution of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)", The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Oxford University Press, retrieved 2023-04-25
  4. "THE CCPA", The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), IT Governance Publishing, pp. 123–169, 2019-06-28, retrieved 2023-04-25
  5. "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)". 2021-08-25. Retrieved 2023-04-25.