ArticlePDF Available
Mascheroni, G. (2018). Researching datafied children as data citizens.
Journal of Children and Media, 12(4). DOI:
Researching datafied children as data citizens
Three years after Kathryn Montgomery’s illuminating analysis of the ways in which Big
Data practices and imaginaries are re-shaping children’s media cultures in this journal
(2015), a host of new internet-connected and sensor-equipped products have been
created especially for children and their parents. The range of IoT (Internet of Things)
products for childhood includes such items as: baby wearables that monitor the baby’s
biometric data, health parameters and behavioural patterns (sleep, feed, change
patterns), and sell the promise of “peace of mind” to anxious parents; smart watches that
track children’s whereabouts; the Internet of Toys (IoToys), which includes dolls and
teddy bears equipped with voice and image recognition (such as Hello Barbie, My
Friend Cayla, CloudPets); robots, drones or other mechanical toys that are remotely
controlled and/or programmable through apps (such as Anki Cozmo, Sphero SPRK and
Dash &Dot); puzzle and building blocks (such as Osmo); arts-to-life products (such as
Play-Doh Touch); outdoor physical toys (such as the Springfree Trampoline); and teddy
bears that monitor the child’s health parameters (such as Teddy the Guardian). Thanks
to network connectivity and sensors, these new playthings collect play data, along with
personal data about children and their parents, and, potentially, data on the surrounding
Once things become connected to the internet and embedded with sensors and
electronics that support the generation and exchange of data, they are turned into media
that “mediate what has not been mediated before” (Buntz & Meikle, 2018, p. 18). As a
consequence, the very experience and meaning of being “online” is reconfigured.
Whereas being online may be characterised as discontinuous, “being connected is a
continuous experience” (Isin & Ruppert, 2015, p. 27). We generate a continuous flow of
digital traces as we move through, and across offline and online worlds, to the point that
datafication (defined as the ability to transform almost every aspect of social life into
online data, and thus quantify it) and dataveillance (the continuous surveillance of
citizens/consumers’ practices that datafication enables) now form for many the “general
background of everyday life” (Couldry and Hepp, 2017: 124).
Hence, the expansion of sensor-based networked objects aimed at younger
children and their families gives shape to a “datafied environment” (Hintz, Dencik &
Wahl-Jorgensen, 2017, p. 732) that sets the condition for the ubiquitous quantification
of children’s lives. We have now entered “a world of near-ubiquitous data collection”
(Montgomery, 2015, p. 267) in which behaviour, emotions, connections, and ultimately
people themselves, become collectable, quantifiable, predictable and monetised (Van
Dijck, 2014). Users of internet-connected things, including children, are turned into “a
resource that creates data” (Bunz & Meikle, 2018, 31): data are stored in corporate
platforms, aggregated and compared with other users’ data to profile and classify users,
and analysed through proprietary algorithmic models so as to predict future behaviour.
Under surveillance capitalism (Zuboff, 2015) and its data-driven business models,
children are situated as both consumers of products and services, as well as producers of
data. Child-focussed adtech (advertising technology, including the use of digital tools
such as trackers and data analytics) company SuperAwesome recently revealed that
children are exposed to between one and two million trackers per year, collecting
around five million data points. By the time a child has turned 13, this rises up to 72
million data points “collected by adult adtech delivering ads into kids and family digital
content” (Harris, 2017).
The implications of dataveillance for children’s privacy have been high on the
agenda over the last three years. The privacy risks of the Internet of Toys have been
exposed on a number of occasions, including: the Hello Barbie and VTech data hacks in
late 2015 (Holloway & Green, 2016); the privacy and security failures of My Friend
Cayla and i-Que Intelligent Robot reported by the #toyfailcampaign of the Norwegian
Consumer Council in 2016 (Mascheroni & Holloway, 2017); and the leak of over
800,000 user passwords and two million messages recorded by parents and children and
exchanged via CloudPet (Franceschi-Bicchierai, 2017).
Nonetheless, in what follows I would like to make the argument that most of the
public and academic discourses around the datafication of childhood have been
characterised by three shortcomings, namely: immediacy, atomism and essentialism.
This brings me to suggest a theoretical and methodological approach to the study of the
datafication of childhood that would frame the social, cultural and ethical issues arising
from internet-connected toys, wearables and other IoT devices as a matter of
citizenship. That is, by asking how the internet, and the Internet of Things more
specifically, is re-signifying political subjectivities, including those of children, and the
conditions under which citizen subjects claim their rights (Isin & Ruppert, 2015).
The first limitation in the current discourse concerns what, based on Ruppert,
Isin and Bigo (2017), I call “the immediacythat pervades many responses to the
datafication of children’s lives. Media representations of the privacy risks of IoToys
epitomise such fear-based, immediate reactions to the threats of dataveillance. The
discursive constructions of IoToys that adhere to a framework of immediacy are also
characterised by a second limitation, that is, atomism or epistemological individualism.
Most media discourses frame privacy risks as individual rather than social problems and
depict parents as individually responsible for protecting their children’s data
(Mascheroni & Holloway, 2017).
The vulnerability of children’s data stored in unsafe corporate platforms, the
non-transparent sharing of data with third parties, and predictive marketing certainly
pose serious concerns. However, focussing on privacy as an individual problem risks
shifting the attention from the broader social implications of datafication for children’s
futures, in favour of individualistic and immediate frames. The question is the re-
positioning of children both in the market, as digital consumers and digital labourers
(Holloway, in press), and in society, as citizen. Beyond an intensified commodification
of children’s media cultures (Montgomery, 2015) that results from the extension of the
surveillance business model of social media to almost every sphere of social life (Bunz
& Meikle, 2018; Van Dijck & Poell, 2013), concerns have been raised over children’s
rights and future life chances (Livingstone & Third, 2017; Lupton & Williamson, 2017).
Based on such premises, and in the attempt to move beyond both immediacy and
atomism by looking at longer-term and social consequences, I agree with those
approaches that frame the datafication of everyday lives, including those of children, as
also and fundamentally a matter of citizenship (Hintz et al., 2017; Isin & Ruppert, 2015;
on children see Barassi, in press). Predictive analytics of the data collected since a child
is in her mother’s womb can structure, and potentially circumscribe, her access to
resources and opportunities once she grows up. As already pointed out by Kathryn
Montgomery, the continual generation, collection and measurement of data about
children gives shape to “‘digital dossiers’ that could follow young people into
adulthood, affecting their access to education, employment, healthcare, and financial
services” (2015, p. 268). Through algorithmic-based social sorting users are temporarily
assigned to “measurable types” (Cheney-Lippold, 2017) – that is, mutable, dynamic and
proprietary classifications based on how algorithms compare an individual’s own data
to pre-existing models of a “child”, a “woman”, a “citizen”, etc. Such algorithmic
identifications not only represent and speak for users, but also regulate them by
discursively mapping out the structure of opportunities and constraints available to
specific “measurable types”.
Beyond automating their access to resources, datafication and dataveillance are
transforming the conditions under which people, children included, enact themselves as
citizen subjects. One may argue that young children are not yet capable of positioning
themselves as citizen subjects. However, even if we conceive of children as “non-yet-
citizens” or partial citizens, whose social media presence and digital dossier is often
initiated by their parents before they are born (Barassi, 2017; Leaver, 2017), we should
nonetheless interrogate how they are socialised into surveillance culture - either
through their own engagement with IoToys, IoT devices and digital media use more
generally, or their parents’ practices of sharenting (the oversharing of information about
their children by parents on social media (see Blum-Ross & Livingstone, 2017)) – and
with what consequences. “Surveillance culture” means that surveillance is now
normalised and domesticated and “forms part of everyday reflections on how things are
and of the repertoire of everyday practices” (Lyon, 2017, p. 825). Surveillance
imaginaries include notions of transparency and openness (Isin & Ruppert, 2015; Van
Dijck, 2013) that render data sharing not only socially legitimised, but also desirable
and normative. As a consequence of their growing up amidst a surveillance culture,
children become “calculable persons” (Lupton & Williamson, 2017) who are
simultaneously calculated by adults and, increasingly, by a vast array of IoTs, but who
are also socialised into surveillance imaginaries and practices. “These calculating
children are both calculated and metricized as data traces, but also encouraged to
calculate about themselves through encountering their own data” as Lupton and
Williamson write (2017, 787). They incorporate what we might call a “quantified
habitus”, learn how to share mundane aspects of their daily lives, and how to measure
their bodies and activities against the backdrop of standard measures, in order to
improve their performances in every field (be it education, sport, gaming, or even
popularity on social media).
This leads to the third short-coming of debates around datafication that I would
like to address here, that is, the risk of essentialist generalizations and deterministic
assumptions. In framing datafication as a matter of citizenship, I do not mean to suggest
that children should be considered as “passive data subjects” (Isin & Ruppert, 2015, p.
4), nor that datafication is homogenously experienced or produces uniform effects on
children. While under many circumstances governments and corporations “compel
citizen subjects to constitute themselves as data subjects” (Isin & Ruppert, 2015, p. 90),
conceiving of datafication as an all-powerful, uncontested and universal force may
obscure how data practices are reconfiguring citizenship, primarily for those who are
considered as citizens-in-the-making.
Within critical data studies, and media studies more generally, a call for the need
to de-essentialise the study of datafication, through a focus on agency (Couldry &
Powell, 2014) and the material contexts of data practices (Kennedy & Bates, 2017;
Kennedy et al., 2015) has emerged. Non-media-centric approaches to datafication
(Couldry, 2012; Couldry & Hepp, 2017) foreground the social practices through which
digital traces are produced, negotiated, resisted and made sense of in the context of
everyday life. How people experience datafication in their everyday encounters with
tools that measure their digital presence; how they enact, or resist to, surveillance
practices; how digital footprints are entangled with socially situated practices and power
relations: these are some of the research questions that a non-media-centric approach
invites us to address.
In line with this approach, bringing the digital citizen to the centre of our
concern helps to distance ourselves from essentialist understandings of the datafied
child as a homogenous category of “passive data subjects” (Isin & Ruppert, 2015, p. 4)
and foregrounds the socio-technical contexts – the material artefacts, the communicative
and social practices and the organisational arrangements as defined by Lievrouw and
Livingstone (2006) – in which digital citizens are embedded and perform themselves.
Isin and Ruppert define digital citizens not as a pre-existing and pre-constituted entity or
capacity, such as the ability to participate in society through the internet. Rather, they
understand citizens as both subjects of power and constraints. Accordingly, digital
citizenship is defined as being constructed partly through automated social sorting that
mobilises citizens as “objects of data (about whom data is produced)”, and partly
through the enactments of users as “subjects of data (those whose engagement drives
how data is produced)” (Ruppert, Isin & Bigo, 2017, p.3). Citizens enact themselves as
(digital) citizen subjects by making rights claims, that is in their subject position as
bearers and claimers of rights. “The citizen subject is both a result and an effect of
making claims about rights that may or may not yet exist.” (Isin & Ruppert, 2015, p. 62)
Framing citizenship not only as a legal status, but a performative, processual and
socially situated practice “opens up possibilities for thinking about children and young
people as citizen-subjects” (Third & Collin, 2016). Because of their ambivalent position
as citizens-in-the-making and boundary-marking figures who problematize notions of
citizenship, rights and the digital (including the online and offline as distinct categories)
(Livingstone & Third, 2017), children are more likely to engage in potentially
disruptive acts of citizenship. Their digital acts, and their digital rights claiming, are
potentially transformative of the practices and norms of doing (digital) citizenship.
Children’s data practices have an imaginative value, opening up the space for diverse
rights claims. For example, children’s engagement with social media shows how the
rights for privacy and freedom of expression are contested and potentially conflicting.
And it is in the context of the everyday that the potentialities for contesting acts of
citizenship emerge (Third & Collin, 2016), which plant the seeds for alternative
framings of datafication that incorporate, contest and move beyond an exclusive focus
on data subjects’ right to privacy.
Taking the view that datafication constitutes a matter of citizenship also has
methodological implications, insofar as it should encourage children and media scholars
to embrace a broader research agenda (Livingstone & Third, 2017) and devise novel
approaches to data collection and analysis. While the algorithmic calculations are
proprietary and, therefore, remain opaque to investigation, digital media and
datafication provide new sources of data and expand the methodological toolkit for
researching children and media (Foucault Welles, 2016) and documenting their lives
(Thomson, Berriman, & Bragg, 2018). However, digital methods also present
researchers with new epistemological and ethical challenges, first and foremost the
temptation to assume “big data” as more accurate and objective data that speak for
themselves (boyd & Crawford, 2012). In this respect, the focus on data practices and
acts of citizenship can and should complement digital methods and help to avoid the de-
contextualisation of media practices. As the calls to de-essentialise our theorisations of
the social consequences of datafication suggest, a focus on data practices is much
needed in order to overcome the discursive reductionism” (Storm-Mathisen, 2016) of
much research in the field so far. Such a practice-based approach should take into
consideration the complex entanglements between the digital and the material – that is,
the digital materialities (Pink, Ardèvol & Lanzeni, 2016) – that emerge within everyday
practices. The practices through which children engage with IoToys and other IoT
objects are always embedded and embodied and involve the encounter with both the
digital and the material dimensions of such technologies. Children’s data are produced
as the outcome of their use of IoToys and IoTs devices, in ways that are never
completely determined by the technology and its agency as a tool for datafication, but
always socially situated.
To conclude, I have argued here for an understanding of datafication as a
question of citizenship, that would recognise children and their parents as both passive
and agentic data citizens. Theoretically and methodologically, this approach would
attune children and media studies with the contemporary calls for a non-media-centric
approach to datafication that contextualises digital footprints within the texture of
everyday life (Couldry & Hepp, 2017).
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... The notion of an "extended self" (Holiday et al., 2020) has been theorised, which implies that parents become the agents not only of their own, but also their children's digital identities. While children gain greater representational agency as they grow into adolescence (Garmendia et al., 2021), younger children's digital traces are more dependent on their parents' sharing behaviour, in line with the notion that early childhood is a critical site of datafication (Mascheroni, 2018). It is in this sense that sharenting, as a data practice, calls into play power relations in terms of data ownership and representational agency (Lupton, 2020), that may cause dilemmas in parents (Chalklen & Anderson, 2017). ...
... Some parents, in fact, govern their children's digital footprints through forms of privacy stewardship , that are enacted by mothers more than fathers, as a new gendered domestic activity (Ammari et al., 2015). However, the dimensions of maternal performance and care enhanced through sharenting are, at the same time, both fostered by broader social expectations of reflexive self-monitoring (Lupton, 2017), and condemned by broader social discourses on parental data accountability (Barassi, 2019;Cino, 2022a), pointing to a neoliberal paradox where producing and sharing data about one's child is framed as an act of care, while privacy protection is framed as an individual responsibility blamed on parents alone (Mascheroni, 2018). As such, mothers may feel "trapped" amidst conflicting discourses on how to better perform their morally signified role in the digital age (Cino, 2022b). ...
... While, on one hand, sharenting as a practice of maternal care and an identity marker of their transition to parenthood adheres to the social media logic of transparency, it simultaneously goes against the other side of the neoliberal discourse that disciplines parenthood -especially when it comes to mediating their children's media use or media visibility. Namely, sharenting seems at odds with the dominant frames of privacy as an individual responsibility (Mascheroni, 2018). In fact, the logic of intensive mothering fits well with the increasing "responsibilisation" of motherhood, whereby parents are held responsible for managing their children's digital footprints and social media presence. ...
Full-text available
The present article reports on findings from a survey administered in (country anonymised) to a national representative sample of parents of children aged 0-8 around their sharenting behaviour. We first frame sharenting as a complex phenomenon where gendered, generational and agentic matters intertwine and mingle in complex ways. We then report results from a cluster analysis aimed at identifying different sharenting styles reflecting the scale and scope of parents' sharing behaviour among our sample. The relationships between sharenting styles and parents' socio-demographics, as well as parental practices of privacy management are further explored and reported. Altogether, findings provide insights into the experience of sharenting in family life pointing to a variety of sharing practices, while also showing first that sharenting represents a key site of identity performance for young mothers, and then how parents negotiate and manage related issues of agency and privacy.
... Datafi cation can be understood as a process by which many aspects of one's life are turned into online data because of the adoption of digital technologies allowing users to produce data about themselves and others (Mascheroni, 2018). Although when sharing online there might be a presumption that the user can control his/her digital footprints, this is not always a given when producing data traces about third parties (Leaver, 2017). ...
... Additionally, research on sharenting has found that within the family, mothers do most of the disclosure management work to govern family photographs online as a new gendered domestic labor (Ammari et al., 2015). When children's age was reported, this was generally in the early childhood range, in line with the notion that this is a critical site of children's datafi cation (Mascheroni, 2018). ...
Full-text available
Sharenting" is a usual habit for families in the digital age. While media outlets describe parents as inattentive and naïve about it, empirical data shows that many of them face digital dilemmas about this practice. Little is known, though, about the reflective practices parents engage in when trying to tackle these dilemmas. To fill this gap, this study explores how a parenting forum can work as an informal reflective and learning site where parents naturally discuss Social Media Dilemmas (SMDs) associated with sharenting. The contribution reports on findings from a thematic analysis of 1,626 posts from 47 discussion threads, where parents sought their peers' advice and support to deal with these kinds of predicaments, looking at how these naturally occurring conversations can help parents learn about and make sense of the new challenges posed by the evolving communication ecology in terms of governing their children's digital footprints.
... In the area of organizational studies, recent research has explored this phenomenon or related themes on the relationships between individuals and digitalized organizations (Bucher, Schou, & Waldkirch, 2021; K. T. Elmholdt, C. Elmholdt, & Haahr, 2021;Walker, Fleming, & Berti, 2021), even through special calls (Blevins & Ragozzino, 2019;Etter, Ravasi, & Colleoni, 2019;Trittin-Ulbrich et al., 2021). However, despite the recent attention given to the topic, the relationship between organizations and a potential surveillance and datafication of children had not been addressed yet (Mascheroni, 2018). The importance of these studies rests on a potential tension between the relevance of new technologies in children's lives, and the regular presence of digital media and social networks, as well as their derivatives, like games and channels, in their social and educational development (Marsh et al., 2017;Rideout, 2017;Scantlin, 2008). ...
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This study analyzes the perceptions of parents and guardians about the use of children’s data by organizations that make up the so-called surveillance capitalism. We developed a quali-quanti survey, which counted 565 respondents in the quantitative part, 107 of whom filled in an open-ended questionnaire corresponding to the qualitative stage of the research, commenting on their perceptions or concerns about the use of data by companies whose audience is children. The quantitative results showed that even noticing an increase in the volume of use of digital media and devices by children, parents, and guardians never or almost never read the consent form. Furthermore, the discourse analysis of the answers to the open questionnaire in the qualitative part of the research showed that the participants are silent about the responsibility of organizations that make up surveillance capitalism. Thus, parents and guardians attribute to themselves, third parties, or contextual situations any distortions in the use of digital devices and media by children and in the expropriation and exploitation of data by organizations. For the field of business, the findings represent an advance in discussions on the dark side of digitization, especially in Brazil, where the topic is still unpublished.
... Ojciec dziecka spotkał się z konsekwencjami prawnymi w postaci ograniczenia wolności. Wyrok ten był w Polsce przełomowym, bowiem pokazał, że rodzice nie dysponują wizerunkiem dziecka bez ograniczeń i nie mogą udostępniać go bezkarnie w przypadku, gdy robią to nieodpowiedzialnie 22 . ...
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[PL] Zjawisko sharentingu, związane z rozpowszechnianiem przez rodziców wizerunku oraz informacji dotyczących dzieci w mediach społecznościowych, staje się masowe za sprawą rozwoju nowych technologii. Dotychczasowe doświadczenia każą przypuszczać, że zbyt mało uwagi poświęca się refleksjom nad ewentualnymi negatywnymi skutkami generowania treści na temat życia dzieci. Zjawisko to nie jest również powszechnie znane w nauce prawa, dlatego autorzy pragną przedstawić jego opis, a także wyróżnić typy zjawisk uważanych za potencjalnie patologiczne. Ponadto wyrazili własny pogląd dotyczący zagrożeń, stanowiących możliwą przyczynę nowych form zachowań przestępczych w stosunku do dzieci. Zaprezentowane rozważania dążą również do rozpoczęcia dyskusji nad przyszłymi problemami prawnymi, które mogą powstawać w wyniku udostępniania informacji o dzieciach w internecie. [ENG] The phenomenon of sharenting, associated with the spread of image and information about children by parents in social media, is becoming more and more popular due to the development of new technologies. So far experience makes us assume that too little attention is paid to the possible negative effects of generating content about the children and their lives. This phenomenon is also not widely described by law, hence the authors wish to present its overview and distinguish the types of sharenting that may be considered pathological. In addition, their own view on the dangers that may cause new forms of criminal behavior towards children is presented. The presented considerations also aim at starting of a discussion on the perspective of future legal problems that may arise as a result of sharing information about children in the Internet.
... Thus, parents (Chen & Shi, 2019) and educational institutions (Chalkiadaki, 2018) are responsible for guiding the growth of children and adolescents in a world shaped by digital media. Concern arises from the fact that children and adolescents actively and passively leave traces in the digital world that are followed not only by family and friends, but also by companies (Holloway, 2019), activists (Boulianne et al., 2020), politicians (Marquart et al., 2020), and scientists (Mascheroni, 2018). ...
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This thematic issue discusses risks, opportunities, and challenges of digital child- and adulthood based on different theoretical and methodological perspectives. It focuses on three topics: First, the challenges children and adolescents face in developing skills for dealing with promotional content are highlighted. Second, several contributions discuss the actions of parents and instructors and their function as role models for children and adolescents. They outline the tension between the consequences of intensive media use by children and adolescents and a responsible approach to digital media as often demanded by parents and teachers. Finally, the last contribution gives an insight into how the political socialization of adolescents can manifest itself in the digital space. The multi-methodological, multi-perspective, and multi-theoretical contributions of this thematic issue illustrate the intergenerational relevance of digital child- and adulthood.
... This last practice has been specifically named Sharenting, an umbrella term that covers acts of posting representations of one's parenting and/ or children on social media (Blum-Ross & Livingstone, 2017). Sharenting is part of a broader process of the datafication of everyday life, where any and all information and representations are transformed into online data (Mascheroni, 2018). ...
Sharenting is a common habit for parents in the digital age. Despite common discourse describing parents as naïve about it, empirical data supports many of them grapple with digital dilemmas concerning these digital narrations. This paper presents a quantitative content analysis of the opening posts of 665 threads posted on a parenting forum where posters discuss how the evolving communication ecology poses new predicaments–here conceptualized as Social Media Dilemmas (SMDs)–when it comes to governing their families’ and children’s digital presence. Findings propose a mapping of SMDs associated with this practice, showing the complex and multi-layered enterprise of governing sharenting, with dilemmas starting well before the birth of a child and concerning, not only parents’, but also other people’s sharing behavior.
Die sozio-technischen Verhältnisse der digitalen Transformation fordern Vorstellungen des »souveränen Staates« und des »souveränen Subjekts« heraus. In den Debatten um die »digitale Souveränität« werden diese Herausforderungen problematisiert. »Souveränität« ist allerdings ein komplexes Konzept. Es wird Aufgabe der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften sein, im Dialog mit den Technikwissenschaften differenzierte Perspektiven auf »(digitale) Souveränität« herauszuarbeiten und damit Orientierungswissen für die gesellschaftliche Selbstverständigung im digitalen Zeitalter sowie die Gestaltung der digitalen Transformation zu entwickeln. Die Beiträger*innen des Bandes stellen sich dieser Aufgabe und bieten Impulse aus den Perspektiven unterschiedlicher Disziplinen der Geistes-, Sozial- und Technikwissenschaften.
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Die sozio-technischen Verhältnisse der digitalen Transformation fordern Vorstellungen des »souveränen Staates« und des »souveränen Subjekts« heraus. In den Debatten um die »digitale Souveränität« werden diese Herausforderungen problematisiert. »Souveränität« ist allerdings ein komplexes Konzept. Es wird Aufgabe der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften sein, im Dialog mit den Technikwissenschaften differenzierte Perspektiven auf »(digitale) Souveränität« herauszuarbeiten und damit Orientierungswissen für die gesellschaftliche Selbstverständigung im digitalen Zeitalter sowie die Gestaltung der digitalen Transformation zu entwickeln. Die Beiträger*innen des Bandes stellen sich dieser Aufgabe und bieten Impulse aus den Perspektiven unterschiedlicher Disziplinen der Geistes-, Sozial- und Technikwissenschaften.
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O presente trabalho tem como objetivo analisar as percepções de pais e tutores sobre o uso de dados das crianças pelas organizações que compõem o chamado capitalismo de vigilância. Para tanto, desenvolveu-se uma pesquisa quali-quanti, que contou com a participação de 565 respondentes na parte quantitativa, sendo que 107 deles preencheram uma pergunta aberta optativa, correspondente à etapa qualitativa, comentando sobre suas percepções ou preocupações acerca da utilização de dados por empresas com foco no público infantil. Os resultados quantitativos apontaram que, mesmo percebendo um aumento no volume de uso de mídias e dispositivos digitais pelas crianças, pais e tutores raramente (ou nunca) leem os termos de consentimento. Além disso, a análise de discurso das respostas à pergunta aberta, na parte qualitativa do estudo, mostrou que os respondentes se silenciam a respeito da responsabilidade das organizações que compõem o capitalismo de vigilância. Dessa forma, atribuem a si mesmos, a terceiros ou a situações contextuais as eventuais distorções no uso de dispositivos e mídias digitais pelas crianças, bem como na expropriação e na exploração dos dados pelas organizações. Para o campo da administração, os achados representam um avanço nas discussões sobre o lado obscuro (darkside) da digitalização, especialmente no Brasil, onde o tema permanece inédito
This paper examines children’s privacy and the Internet of Things (IoT). After describing the operation of IoTs directly marketed to and for children, we outline research concerning the surveillance of children and issues associated with children’s right to privacy, including the role of parents or guardians in protecting their children’s right to privacy. We then present the findings of a survey of Australian IoT consumers and non-consumers (n = 1,052), which shows parents and guardians who purchase IoTs care about their children’s privacy and are concerned about practices of corporate surveillance. Finally, our data show that female parents or guardians have lower rates of privacy literacy than males. Analysed through the lens of data justice (Dencik et al., 2016), we argue the protection of children’s privacy rights must be understood with regard to broader structural factors, such as gender discrimination and digital housekeeping, and ultimately requires addressing corporate practices that characterise the contemporary surveillance landscape.
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This article discusses the positioning of children both as objects of economic activity as and subjects of market relations under surveillance capitalism. It looks briefly at the history of children’s engagement with the market economy from their engagement in the labour force during industrial revolution times; their disappearance from direct economic activity during the Romantic Movement; through to their emergence as both data sources and data consumers within a big data economy. It argues that this is the first time since children retreated from the paid labour force in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to labour law reforms that their activities are of significant economic value, and that the emergence of Internet-connected toys and things for children will significantly amplify children’s position as data sources under surveillance capitalism.
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The commentary raises political questions about the ways in which data has been constituted as an object vested with certain powers, influence, and rationalities. We place the emergence and transformation of professional practices such as ‘data science’, ‘data journalism’, ‘data brokerage’, ‘data mining’, ‘data storage’, and ‘data analysis’ as part of the reconfiguration of a series of fields of power and knowledge in the public and private accumulation of data. Data politics asks questions about the ways in which data has become such an object of power and explores how to critically intervene in its deployment as an object of knowledge. It is concerned with the conditions of possibility of data that involve things (infrastructures of servers, devices, and cables), language (code, programming, and algorithms), and people (scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, information technologists, designers) that together create new worlds. We define ‘data politics’ as both the articulation of political questions about these worlds and the ways in which they provoke subjects to govern themselves and others by making rights claims. We contend that without understanding these conditions of possibility – of worlds, subjects and rights – it would be difficult to intervene in or shape data politics if by that it is meant the transformation of data subjects into data citizens.
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Parents are increasingly sharing information about infants online in various forms and capacities. To more meaningfully understand the way parents decide what to share about young people and the way those decisions are being shaped, this article focuses on two overlapping areas: parental monitoring of babies and infants through the example of wearable technologies and parental mediation through the example of the public sharing practices of celebrity and influencer parents. The article begins by contextualizing these parental practices within the literature on surveillance, with particular attention to online surveillance and the increasing importance of affect. It then gives a brief overview of work on pregnancy mediation, monitoring on social media, and via pregnancy apps, which is the obvious precursor to examining parental sharing and monitoring practices regarding babies and infants. The examples of parental monitoring and parental mediation will then build on the idea of “intimate surveillance” which entails close and seemingly invasive monitoring by parents. Parental monitoring and mediation contribute to the normalization of intimate surveillance to the extent that surveillance is (re)situated as a necessary culture of care. The choice to not survey infants is thus positioned, worryingly, as a failure of parenting.
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The rapid proliferation of self-tracking pregnancy apps raises critical questions about the commodification and surveillance of personal data in family life while highlighting key transformations in the social experience of pregnancy. In the last 2 years, we have seen the emergence of significant research in the field. On one hand, scholars have highlighted the political economic dimension of these apps by showing how they relate to new practices of quantification of the self. On the other hand, they have focused on users’ experience and on the affective, pleasurable, and socially meaningful dimension of these technologies. Although insightful, current research has yet to consider the cultural specificity of these technologies. Drawing on a digital ethnography of the 10 most reviewed pregnancy apps among UK and US users at the beginning of 2016, the article will show not only that the information ecologies of pregnancy apps are extremely varied but also that users’ interaction with these technologies is critical and culturally specific. By discussing pregnancy apps as complex ethnographic environments—which are shaped by different cultural tensions and open-ended processes of negotiation, interaction, and normativity—the article will argue that—in the study of infancy online—we need to develop a media anthropological approach and shed light on the cultural complexity of digital technologies while taking into account how users negotiate with digital surveillance and the quantification of the self.
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This article argues that to make sense of surveillance today, the concept of surveillance culture should be added to the conceptual tool kit. This goes beyond the important concerns of the surveillance state and surveillance society to examine how today's subjects make sense of, respond to, and-in some cases-initiate surveillance activities. Building conceptually on Charles Taylor's work, the concepts of surveillance imaginaries and surveillance practices are proposed as a means of analysis of how surveillance is engaged today. Previous studies have hinted at surveillance culture both explicitly and implicitly, but more is needed. This article explores further one illustrative dimension-that of online practices of sharing. These practices are seen, in turn, in relation to visibility and exposure. Finally, the concept of surveillance culture is shown to be relevant to current discussions ethics and of digital citizenship.
This book explores the thesis that things have become media, able both to generate and communicate information. Equipped with sensors and connected to networks, things have gained new capabilities and acquired new skills. Chapter for chapter and skill for skill, the authors look at the new abilities things did not have before such as seeing, speaking to, or tracking people. Using case studies and critical discourse analysis, they study the transformation of things informed by networked sensors and artificial intelligence from phones and health trackers to self-driving cars, connected houses and intelligent assistants such as Alexa or Siri.
How can we know about children's everyday lives in a digitally saturated world? What is it like to grow up in and through new media? What happens between the ages of 7 and 15 and does it make sense to think of maturation as mediated? These questions are explored in this innovative book, which synthesizes empirical documentation of children's everyday lives with discussions of key theoretical and methodological concepts to provide a unique guide to researching childhood and youth. Researching Everyday Childhoods begins by asking what recent 'post-empirical' and 'post-digital' frameworks can offer researchers of children and young people's lives, particularly in researching and theorising how the digital remakes childhood and youth. The key ideas of time, technology and documentation are then introduced and are woven throughout the book's chapters. Research-led, the book is informed by two state of the art empirical studies – 'Face 2 Face' and 'Curating Childhoods' – and links to a dynamic multimedia archive generated by the studies. FULL TEXT AVAILABLE OPEN ACCESS:
This short piece introduces the special issue of Television & New Media (TVNM) on data power in material contexts, which brings together papers which analyze the operations of data power across a range of real-world domains. It highlights the increasing connectedness of digital data tracking, aggregation, and analytics across domains that include and move beyond media, as data are increasingly combined and shared across diverse digital spaces. Thus, it connects media and communications scholarship concerned with datafication to debates in other related and overlapping fields, as part of the larger project of building data studies as an interdisciplinary and critical field. It briefly introduces the papers in the special issue, all of which constitute detailed empirical investigations that ground the study of data power in specific, material contexts.