Welcome to another week.

A report recently published by the University of Winchester argues that children should have their own, independent right to privacy, separate from their parents’ own views about privacy.

The publication follows the Government’s announcement this month that it will create a new Data Protection Bill, giving people a right to force social media companies to delete their personal data, including social media posts from childhood.

A workshop was held to look at the ways in which a child’s right to privacy might be implemented in law. Organisations who attended the workshop included Channel Four, the BBC, the Children’s Commissioner’s Office and academics from the universities of Winchester, Oxford, East Anglia, Sussex and Cambridge.

A total of 8 recommendations were made:

  1. Young children should have a privacy right independent from their parents’ privacy expectations.
  2. Encourage debate on the objectification of children online, internet bullying and standards needed to ensure children are treated fairly as they surf the web.
  3. More research into the impact of broadcast media exposure of young children is needed to understand what effect it has on them, both positive and negative.
  4. The creation of a Children’s Digital Ombudsman to represent children’s interests in relation to all forms of digital publications.
  5. Controller hosts (social platforms like Twitter and Facebook) and independent intermediaries (like Google), should have a duty of care to consider young
    children’s privacy and best interests in their operations.
  6. The duty of care should make information privacy a default setting. The extent of that privacy should increase in line with the social media service’s interests in promoting, controlling and profiting from the publication of images of young children.
  7. There should be a limit to the amount of sharing, copying and reworking of images relating to children.
  8. There should be more education for both children and parents about the impact of ‘sharenting’ (defined as parents “overusing” social media to share content based on their children).

Our question this week then, is just this: what do you think of the recommendations?

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