66% of Parents Post Pictures of Their Children Online Despite Privacy Concerns; 1 in 5 Have Helped Their Child to Set Up an Online Account on a Website That Required They Were Over 13

London – 01 April, 2015 – According to a recent study of parents of pre-teens (children aged 0-13) conducted by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by TRUSTe, 66% of those surveyed say they post pictures of their children online, with more than 1 in 4 (28%) posting pictures once a month or more often. This is perhaps surprising given that 54% of parents said they are concerned about their child’s privacy online, with 80% saying that they believe it is their primary responsibility, as parents or legal guardians, to protect their child’s personal information on the internet.

One quarter of parents (25%) do not allow their children to use the internet. Of those that do 72% were concerned about their child’s online privacy. The top cause of concern for these parents is that their child would be exposed to content online which is not appropriate (68%) followed by concern that their child would meet people online (52%), share personal information online (49%), that their online behavior will be collected by companies for marketing purposes (48%) or share personal information they would later regret (47%). More than 4 in 10 (44%) said their child knew nothing about the issues surrounding privacy online. Despite these concerns, close to 1 in 5 (21%) said they have helped their child set up an account on a website that required they were over 13 (e.g. Facebook).

Findings from the TRUSTe 2015 Privacy Index, Kids Edition are based on data from an online survey conducted in Great Britain by Ipsos MORI, with 1,000 adults aged 16-75 of which 161 were parents of a child aged 0 to 13 years of age. Fieldwork was carried out between 28 November and 5 December 2014.  The study was commissioned by TRUSTe, the leading data privacy management company.

Companies which target children should consider how the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation could impact the methods they use to collect a child’s personal information online and receive expressed consent from a parent or guardian. Updates to the Regulation are expected to include revised sections on defining a child online and obtaining parental consent.

“Businesses that target children online and collect their personal information must ensure that they are obtaining parental consent and clearly demonstrating how this data is being collected and used, said Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe. “Since our survey results show that while parents are concerned they don’t always protect their children’s privacy online, companies need to work with parents and their children to ensure transparency and help protect children’s data.”

TRUSTe’s Kids Privacy Assessments include a comprehensive review of data collection and usage practices powered by our Privacy Consultants and state-of-the-art Data Privacy Management (DPM) Platform. Privacy practices are reviewed against EU regulatory requirements, industry programs, and recognised best practices and revealed in a findings report. Learn more at http://www.truste.com/business-products/coppa.

About TRUSTe
TRUSTe is the leading global Data Privacy Management (DPM) company and powers privacy compliance and trust by enabling businesses to safely collect and use customer data across their customer, employee, and vendor channels. Our SaaS-based DPM Platform gives users control over all phases of data privacy management from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Our DPM Services, including assessments and certifications, are delivered by an expert team of privacy professionals. Thousands of companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand.

Research Methodology
The research was conducted by Ipsos MORI using an online survey among a representative quota sample of 1,000 adults aged 16-75 in GB between 28 November  and 5 December 2014. Among these, 196 were parents of a child aged 0-17and 161 were parents of a child aged 0-13, 86 of whom reported that they were concerned about the privacy online of a child aged 0-13. Survey data were weighted by age, gender, region and working status to known population proportions.

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