What data are website & apps collecting about your child? New report shines a light

The office of the Children’s Commissioner has published a new report to highlight the amount of data that is collected shared about children on websites and apps they use.

The report calls for ‘companies producing apps, toys and other products aimed at children to be transparent about how they are capturing information about children and how it is being used, and argues that children should be taught in schools about how their data is collected and for what purposes.’

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said:

“A child’s personal information should not be used in a way that leads to them facing disadvantage as an adult, yet that is a possibility we are facing. We urgently need to introduce safeguards to minimise risks like these, while allowing data to be used positively to improve public services and customer experiences.”

Key findings

Type of content collected

Location tracking watches, school databases, classroom apps, biometric data in schools, retail loyalty schemes, travel passes, and medical records such as the Personal Child Health Record and GP records.

Posting on social

  • Children aged 11-16 post on social media on average 26 times a day by the age of 18 they are likely to have posted 70,000 times
  • By the age of 13, a child’s parents will have posted on average 1,300 photos and videos of them to social media.

Internet connected toys

In 2018, 2 million CloudPets voice messages shared between children and their family members were found being stored unprotected online.

Sharenting

On average, parents with children aged zero to 13 share 71 photos and 29 videos of their child every year to social media sites.

Tips to protect children's data

Ten top tips to minimise children’s data footprints – click here

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