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When do parents think their child is ready to use the internet independently?

Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862 and Ólafsson, Kjartan (2018) When do parents think their child is ready to use the internet independently? Parenting for a Digital Future: Survey Report 2. Department of Media and Communications, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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In all the recent discussion over social media data exploitation, licit or illicit, with or without consent, urging people to lock down privacy settings or even delete their profiles, the ‘user’ is constantly assumed to be an adult – responsible for their decisions about when to allow information society services to monetise their personal data. But who is looking out for children and their data privacy? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force on 25th May 2018, proposes that for children under a certain age, companies should gain parental consent before processing their personal data. But under what age? But what is under-age? The GDPR proposed 16 as the age of consent, albeit for largely unexplained reasons. It then allowed member states to reduce the age to 13, and the UK’s Data Protection Bill has proposed just that, resulting in a lower age of consent than in some European countries, but leaving unresolved the challenges of implementation. In all this, it seems no-one has consulted parents. US research with parents suggests 13 is too young and, as Facebook reported, 77% of parents say they should be the ones to decide. The Parenting for a Digital Future project surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2032 UK parents of 0-17 year olds in November 2017. As we show, overall parents think 13 is about right, but parents of teens – to whom this decision actually matters in practice – think 13 is too young.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 09:23
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:26
Funders: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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