Privacy and the Youth. A Few Things to Consider When it Comes to Your Children.

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With children’s digital footprint increasingly beginning before birth, yes sharing that sonogram might have more impact than you think, here are a few things you can do today to ensure your child’s right to privacy remains intact.

If your child is school-aged, have a candid discussion with the administration about their media release policies.

Oversharing doesn’t stop with the family. Teachers, coaches, scout leaders, family friends, regardless of intent, may be infringing on your child’s right to privacy. Visit any one of these individual’s various social media pages, and you’re likely to find an image of your child unobscured from the outside world.

Child’s rights vary by region and country, but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid of inquiring further about organizational practice when it comes to a media release. Ask when and where information is shared. Is it for internal use only amongst staff? Can it be used commercially?

The answers to these questions should undoubtedly inform your decision. Air on the side of caution and never sign a media release form on behalf of your child without a thorough understanding of its intended use.

Sit down with your child and go through their device application downloads to get a sense of what their digital life looks like.

According to CNBC, by the age of 12, some 50% of children will be using at least one social media platform regularly, the vast majority of which regularly track user data.

A quick Google query will show you that of all applications available in the Google Play Store, TikTok (1), Instagram (3), and Snapchat (6) were among the most downloaded. Let’s take a look at who’s using these apps.

According to BusinessofApps.com, some 60% of TikToks userbase falls between 16-24. It’s important to note that TikTok’s user-guidelines require that the account owner be at least 13 years of age and, if under the age of 18, have their parents consent to use. Is your child under the age of 13 and or using TikTok without your permission? If so, they are technically in violation of TikTok’s terms of service.

The data looks remarkably similar when evaluating Snap Inc’s, Snapchat. The minimum account holder age remains 13 years old with a massive 90% of the userbase falling within the 13 to 24-year-old camp according to Omni Core Agency.

Of the bunch, Instagram did better with older users with Statista claiming only 36% of its userbase falling between the ages of 13-24.

Think before posting.

Setting aside all of the data tracking and predatory practice the web is wrought with for a second, think about your children’s mental well being. If you were anything like me as a child, you carried around a lot of baggage when it came to self-esteem issues. You’d be hard-pressed to find a photo of me under the age of twenty-one with anything close to a smile approaching my face. I was not too fond of photographs to be taken of me, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to consent for it to be shared on the internet. While you may chalk this up to typical teenage angst, remember, your children are people too. Be mindful. Consider their wishes thoughtfully. Share photos with family off of social media when you can.

Did you enjoy today’s read? Come back tomorrow and don’t forget to take your daily dose of privacy.

About the author

Christopher Reeder is ODIN Blockchain’s Lead Content Strategist and Technical Writer. As an advocate and researcher, he is exploring technology’s impact on privacy.

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Published by Christopher Reeder

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