It’s also the 20th anniversary of the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child. A significant milestone, this made privacy a basic human right for everyone under the age of eighteen.
Privacy is a right that all young people should enjoy, no matter where they live. With today’s world being so different than it was 20 years ago, this is something they may not think much about. Today, young people are videotaped by security cameras almost everywhere they go. They are asked for their postal code or driver’s license number when they buy a pair of jeans. They can instant message, update their statuses, download music, talk to friends on Facebook and play games on their computers with people all around the world. Twenty years ago, if someone wanted to get in touch with you they had to phone you or send you a postcard!
It is so easy for young people to overlook their privacy rights and why they’re so important. And it’s easy to forget about the risks that are out there if they don’t protect their personal information. These risks can range from nuisance (all those marketers who are looking for people to target their ads to) to serious (from the people on the Internet who are looking for identities to steal, to the predators who are looking for victims). Many of them also tend to forget that when they post comments, photos and videos, online, that information is public and permanent and almost impossible to remove.
So today, on National Child Day, take a minute and remind the young people in your life, in your community, that privacy is their right. Have them look around youthprivacy.ca and click through the pages. Encourage them to find information about how they can have fun online while protecting this valuable basic human right.