Sharenting – parents sharing kids’ information – should we care? Should they care? On this week’s episode of Serious Privacy, K Royal and Paul Breitbarth talk with Prof. Dr. Mariea Hoy, DeForrest Jackson Professor at University of Tennessee, and Dr. Alexa K Fox, Assistant Professor of Marketing at The University of Akron, on their recent publication, “Smart Devices, Smart Decisions? Implications of Parents’ Sharenting for Children’s Online Privacy,” in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. This research explored how parents, specifically mothers, post about their children on social media and how they share their children’s personally identifiable information (PII) in a marketing context.
In the past, sharing photos of your children was familiar but controlled: you pull out the hard copy photo of your child from your wallet, hand it to your coworker who gushes over how adorable your child looks in their school picture. “I can’t believe how much they’ve grown!” the coworker says, as they naturally hand the hard copy photo back to you, and you safely tuck it back into your wallet. The internet changed the ways in which we share information about our children. But are we putting children at risk by oversharing?
This episode of Serious Privacy explores the ramifications of “sharenting” as privacy concerns continue to grow and the brand to consumer relationship blurs. Stream the new episode here. Serious Privacy can be found on all major podcast players (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.). Subscribe and review today!
If you cannot access the article via the link provided, please contact the researchers directly. They indicated they would be happy to provide you with a copy.
By Shreya Vora, Esq., CIPP/US
Educational technology is really taking off. Kids today use tablets and computers at school, learning apps and a bevy of other online tools. When building products for the education technology sector, all business owners need to consider privacy – everyone from budding entrepreneurs to established companies to large multi-national corporations. When your technology is aimed at kids there are laws as well as best practices to follow in order to mitigate risk and ensure consumer trust.
Understanding the legal landscape within which your technology is operating is essential to ensuring your company’s survival and success. Failure to comply can lead to hefty fines, the loss of business, reputational damage, and a media nightmare. Understanding the laws and best practices in your industry will empower you to design and update your technology with children’s privacy issues in mind. It goes without saying that given the speed of technological innovation, many of the applicable laws have necessitated (and continue to necessitate) reform to truly address the risks posed by education technology, as well as the data gathered about children through such technology (i.e. what can be done with metadata, data retention policies, use of information for advertising purposes — the list goes on). That said, for those working in this space, there are some key regulations to keep in mind (though this is by no means a comprehensive list).
Our latest survey of U.S. and British parents of pre-teen children uncovered some contradictory responses and actions related to their children’s online privacy.
According to this survey, parents say they’re concerned about their children’s online privacy, yet the majority of parents post pictures of their kids to social media websites, and nearly a quarter of both American and British parents say they have helped their child set up an account on a website that requires that children be older than 13.
And 66% of British parents and 69% of American parents surveyed said they post pictures of their children online.
Conversely, both British and American parents said they are concerned about their child’s privacy online (54 and 58 percent, respectively). One quarter of U.S. parents (24 percent) and British parents (25 percent) said they do not allow their children under the age of 13 to use the Internet due to concerns about their child’s online privacy.
By Eleanor Treharne-Jones, CIPP/E, Director, EMEA & Global Communications
In the U.S., recent revisions to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and legal action by the Federal Trade Commission have brought renewed attention to the issue of children’s online privacy. In the EU, changes proposed in the draft Data Protection Regulation addressing the protection of children’s online privacy mirror many of those included under COPPA.
There’s been phenomenal growth of mobile applications and games, and we know that pre-teens are among the most active users of this technology. So the question that needs to be addressed is, what is a viable strategy for app publishers to navigate these laws while ensuring parents are informed and in control of their children’s privacy?
The IAPP’s list of “Top 10 Privacy Law Stories of 2014” includes an article by TRUSTe’s Director of Product Joanne Furtsch. The author of the IAPP post, IAPP Knowledge Manager Emily Leach, CIPP, writes, “Privacy + law. Some may see good potential for a snooze fest there, but this year’s top Privacy Tracker stories will surely prove them wrong. From China to California to the EU; starring giant of the leisure industry, the tech industry and global governments, and encompassing battles over personal freedoms and government overreach, these are stories that made sure nobody in privacy could nap on the job.” She continues:
Below, based on click rates, are the year’s most interesting privacy law stories. This may not quite get Barbara Walters-style ratings, but it should. These legislative changes have the power to alter the way billions of people access information—and are surveilled by their governments and their service providers—and may truly shape the modern definition of privacy.