Language selection


Child Protection Online

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Among the many interesting sessions held on Thursday, conference attendees discussed child protection online. The video of this session will be available next week, but we include some highlights below:

Rough notes from the presentation by Valerie Steeves, professor at the University of Ottawa:

  • There are increasingly deep levels of intimacy between marketers and children – there’s a thin line between content and commerce
  • By opening up child’s private world of play, marketers hope to steer their reactions – by embedding commercial values in a child’s social world
  • The crux of the system rests on surveillance

“There’s no way to sugar coat this. In order to learn more about individual consumers, marketers have to resort to ‘spying'” – Rob Graham, Rob (2006) Fishing from a Barrel – Using Targeting to Reach the Right People with the Right Ads at the Right Time

  • All the major children’s playsites comply with data protection laws – in fact they all market themselves as champions of children’s privacy
  • From a human rights perspective, privacy is rooted in dignity and autonomy – as human rights advocates we all need to get past data, security and consent
  • We need to start to look at the impact of invasive technologies on how children experience the concepts of privacy in their own lives
  • In these children’s sites, the pervasive market research invades privacy – seamless surveillance – colonizing their play – constraining the identities available to them – recasting things like citizenship, friendship, autonomy, choice and control within the framework of the marketplace
  • This is the context in which kids are making their decisions about online privacy
  • Policy makers think kids don’t care about online privacy
  • As we explore the research in all these disciplines – we will see a very very different picture

From Leslie Regan Shade, professor at Concordia University:

  • Kids care about their privacy, they care about a lot of issues about relationship privacy – especially what other kids think
  • They care about the presentation of themselves online
  • Very interesting sense of privacy – they want to control their image, want to control what they look like
  • Are very concerned of people who they don’t know in a social network, people who have tagged them in a photo
  • They care if the photo is unappealing or depicts them in a situation they do not what their mother to see
  • Their grossest thing for kids now is for their parents to be on a Facebook – I’m being stalked!
  • Care deeply about their privacy, among small personal networks which are now being extended in digital spaces
  • Interesting blurriness between public and private and kids think that what they are doing on these public spaces are private but it’s not.
Date modified: