A doorway into an unsafe world

A doorway into an unsafe world

3rd January 2020By nanhoodadminNo Comments

That little oblong thing in your child’s hand is a doorway to the world. 

My nephew thought that his son had no access to the internet as he had put parental safety controls  ‘on’ but on a visit I found the 7 year old could download without any knowledge of his parents. 

 

You have less control than you think 

I decided to check out this online world a little more. The amount of data a child puts out about themselves, what they do and who with,  directly or by simply using the tool, is not in a parents control once the door is open. In many cases parents add to the data circulating about their children without even considering the implications for the future. 

Companies love the free data

Mathematical formulae work behind the scenes to connect devices, link up data and form a record all about your child. This is stored as it waits to be ready for use by advertising agencies, retailers and who knows who. The data is a financial gain for those companies but not for you or your child. Big money is made out of your kids. Companies will not change unless they are made to. 

Time online reveals all about your child

Over time the data will reveal a child’s bedtime, their location, their mood, financial status, likes, vulnerabilities and when they are most likely to respond. 

As the www.5rightsfoundation.com   says ‘by the time a child is 18 there will be (at least) 70,000 data points about them’ held by companies who will ‘now your child better than you’. All of this without you as a parent having any control. You gave it away as soon as you allowed the tablet to be opened by them or added information about them to yours.

Children tell the truth but companies do not act honestly

While some children pretend they are older than they are even if they tell the truth they can still access the service. Often it is exactly the same as for adults. So if you have a teenager who is being bullied about their size that teen can quietly sit and access diet plan help when this may really not be god for their health. The darker side is they can join networks of other troubled teens tense about their changing shapes. This can damage their mental health too. 

The Information Commissioner has designed a code which will help protect children within the digital world. We need that to be legal as soon as possible and to be widely promoted too. Until then watch and think https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zyux6NGxRYk  

Top Tips

  • Never leave your child alone in a room with internet access
  • Never assume your parental controls cover everything
  • Take this very seriously, not to do so is like leaving your front door open when you are out and your child is in.
  • Ask your MP to write to Baroness Nicky Morgan Secretary of State for DCMS, 100 Parliament St, Westminster, London SW1A 2BQ to get the Age Appropriate Design Code made legal for businesses to comply with.