Another wrong move comes from the giant, Alphabet. It seems that it’s platform: YouTube is improperly collecting data from its youngest users. There is no surprise that for many kids, YouTube has already replaced television; and because of this, they could be monitored through their parents even before birth.
Internet is used merely by young people; statistics show that more than 80% of the world’s children and 90%+ of US children now have an online presence before they turn 2. Just in the US alone, 95% of US teens use or have a smartphone, and 45% from them spend an average of nine hours each day surfing the cyberspace.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and the growing capabilities of data processing, a change is urgently needed.
Experts are saying that even if a child is somehow shielded from a premature online identity, his or her life will still be influenced by the online presence of similar children.
Just imagine this scenario: your child avoids having a digital footprint and that neither he or you have ever used or posted anything online. You think you are safe, yes? But in fact, the answer is NO!
Because today’s AIs and companies can still use data about other youngsters who fall into similar categories (same zip code or same school) to make predictions about your child. To put it simply, the practice of data collection could have far-reaching consequences for your children’s fundamental rights, because nowadays social media platforms use algorithms to display personalized and targeted content.
Remember everything can be hacked or tracked. In order to stay away from any threats related to the cyber world, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running. If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests;
To protect your children’s fundamental rights, we need a new data protection framework: one based on how the data is used, not who owns it.
For example, did you see this neverending example in the wild? A website that will require a child to disclose personal information in order to participate in a game.
This is why authorities need a broader regulation on how data is used, as well as a legal framework that explicitly protects our fundamental civil, political, and socioeconomic rights online.
First thing first: Data collection and its use should be limited, and done carefully, loyally, and confidentially.
These new regulations should define technical standards that prioritize privacy and establish uniform practices. On the other hand, companies should face severe sanctions or other actionable consequences if they get caught collecting data without user consent.
We need to remember and understand that past generation were able to grow up without a digital record of their past, but this new generation and the ones that follow will definitely have inescapable online identities.
Anyone that have a kid and wants to keep him/her safe in the cyberspace must follow these simple pieces of advice:
- limit your kinds of internet time and gadget use like phone/tablet, as much as possible
- keep your shared data private and only disclose a small amount of it only if it is needed
- always use a child content filter on your device
We would continue to monitor this problem. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.