Conference PaperPDF Available

Protecting children's privacy in the online context. A legal perspective

Authors:
Conference 25 Years CRC
Leiden Law School, Leiden University
Leiden, 19 November 2014
Protecting children’s privacy in the online
context. A legal perspective
A
k
FP7-288021
Avv. Alessandro Mantelero
Politecnico di Torino
Aggregate Professor
Nexa Center for Internet and Society
Director of Privacy
Sino-Italian Research Center for Internet Torts, Nanjing University of
Information Science & Technology
Research Consultant
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
There is a wide debate among scholars on teenage
behaviour in the online environment (e.g. Danah Boyd,
Sandra Cortesi, Urs Gasser, Sonia Livingstone)
Various studies demonstrated that teens share a wide
range of information about themselves in the online
environment. Nevertheless, teens show an increased
consciousness of the value of personal information and
of consequences of personal data sharing.
The different approach of this study:
The study focuses on the aspects of online behaviour
related to regulatory profiles, namely online privacy and
security
A. Mantelero © 2014
Pilot survey
Geographical area:
Piedmont (Italy, north-west region, official population: 4.446.230)
Period: 2013-14
Structure: 35 questions, 7 sections
First sample
Lower secondary school student (12-14)
Dimension of the sample: 435 students (respondent rate = 96.1%)
Second sample (stratified sample, two strata)
Upper secondary school students (15-19)
Dimension of the sample: 1051 students (respondent rate = 91.54%)
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
Structure of the study
A. Mantelero © 2014
In the second sample, the results show that different
educational backgrounds do not affect teen online
behaviour.
There are not relevant differences between students with a
background in humanities and students with a technological
of scientific background.
Teenagers mainly use personal computers to
access Internet services, but there is an
increasing use of mobile connections and
gaming consoles (among male students of
lower secondary school)
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
Key general findings
A. Mantelero © 2014
Devices
(blue = computer, red = smartphone, green = gaming console)
2nd yr, lower secondary s. 2nd yr, upper secondary s. 5th yr, upper secondary s.
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
Legal implications: mobile devices make it easier to identify and profile users (real
name policy, identity-privacy-trust)
A. Mantelero © 2014
Social networks are mainly used to remain connected with family members and existing
friends.
There is a low interest in using social networks to make new friends and it decreases
with the age of respondents.
Use of SNs to remain connected with family members
Relevance (blue = high, red = low, green = irrelevant)
2nd yr, lower secondary s. 2nd yr, upper secondary s. 5th yr, upper secondary s.
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
The nature of teens’
networks
A. Mantelero © 2014
Use of SNs to make new friends
Relevance (blue = high, red = low, green = irrelevant)
Use of SNs to remain connected with existing friends
Relevance (blue = high, red = low, green = irrelevant)
2nd yr, lower secondary s. 2nd yr, upper secondary s. 5th yr, upper secondary s.
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
A. Mantelero © 2014
Number of online “friends”
(green = 51-100, yellow = 101-200, dark green = 201-500, brown = >500)
2nd yr, lower secondary s. 2nd yr, upper secondary s. 5th yr, upper secondary s.
Legal implications: definition of the border between private and public life, disclosure
of private facts, right to be forgotten, “household exception”
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
How many friends do you
have on Facebook?
A. Mantelero © 2014
The results show that the awareness increases with the age of the respondents.
Have you ever decided not to post something online because you were concerned it
would reflect badly on you in the future?
(blue = yes, red = no, green = undecided)
2nd yr, lower secondary s. 2nd yr, upper secondary s. 5th yr, upper secondary s.
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
Legal implications: right to be forgotten
Awareness of persistent
nature of online information
A. Mantelero © 2014
Parents and other members of the family play a central role in giving first information on
online safety. The importance of these figures decreases with the age of the
respondents, while the role of teachers and media is more relevant to older
respondents.
(blue = parents, red/green = other family members, dark green = teachers, brown =
media)
2nd yr, lower secondary s. 2nd yr, upper secondary s. 5th yr, upper secondary s.
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
Legal implications: The importance of promoting privacy awareness and providing
educational tools, privacy by design
Online safety
A. Mantelero © 2014
The results of the survey confirm that the traditional data protection model based on
“notice & consent is going into crisis.
The respondents are aware of privacy risks and they know how to manage their
profiles, nevertheless they have low interest in reading privacy notices. They consider
notices unclear, difficult to find or unnecessary.
In many case, respondents give importance to the mere fact that an online service has
published its privacy policies.
Respondents consider the general reputation of a service provider as an important
reason for their choice.
Legal implications: the new EU Proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation
(“notice & consent” model, accountability, standardised icons)
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
A. Mantelero © 2014
Data protection and the
“notice & consent” model
Alessandro Mantelero
http://staff.polito.it/alessandro.mantelero
http://nexa.polito.it/people/amantelero
alessandro.mantelero@polito.it
@mantelero
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
Protecting children’s privacy in the online context.
A legal perspective
A. Mantelero © 2014
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