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Viewing youth and mobile privacy through a digital policy literacy framework

Shade, Leslie Regan and Shepherd, Tamara (2013) Viewing youth and mobile privacy through a digital policy literacy framework. First Monday, 18 (12). ISSN 1396-0466

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Identification Number: 10.5210/fm.v18i12.4807


Digital policy literacy is a critical element of digital literacy that emphasizes an understanding of communication policy processes, the political economy of media, and technological infrastructures. This paper introduces an analytical framework of digital policy literacy and illustrates it with examples of young people’s everyday negotiations of mobile privacy, in order to argue for increased policy literacy around privacy and mobile phone communication. The framework is applied to the Canadian context, where a small pilot study engaged 14 undergraduate university students in focus groups about their uses of mobiles and knowledge of mobile privacy issues. Preliminary findings show that while our participants were aware of a variety of privacy threats in mobile communication, they were not likely to participate in policy processes that might protect their privacy rights. The paper concludes with a discussion of why young people may not be motivated to intervene in policy processes and how their digital policy literacy around mobile privacy is mitigated by the construction of youth as a lucrative target consumer market for mobile devices and services.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors, Published by First Monday, University of Illinois at Chicago
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2014 14:43
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:06
Projects: Standard Research Grant: Young Canadians, Participatory Digital Culture, and Policy Literacy
Funders: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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