Children’s digital footprints are being formed earlier than ever, leaving them open to identify theft and fraud as they grow up because there is so much data on them readily available.
By the age of 13, a child’s parents will have posted on average 1,300 photos and videos of them online. Not only that, but as soon as kids are old enough, they carry on this trend – children aged 11 to 16 post on social media an average of 26 times a day, which means by the age of 18 they are likely to have posted 70,000 times.
A new report from the Children’s Commissioner for England calls this generation the first to be “datafied” from the start of their lives, despite the fact we’ve not yet considered the full implication of this as they become adults.
As a result, they’ve today called for the Government to urgently look into better ways of protecting the vast amounts of data being collected, and to teach kids in school about the risks of a life lived online.
Children’s data is routinely collected through social media updates on parents’ profiles, children’s smartphone and tablets, web-browsing and search engines, smart speakers, connected toys and connected baby cameras.
Data is also collected outside the home through 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. The report highlights that children are so accustomed to sharing data that they’re no longer questioning when they’re asked for it.
Last year, two million CloudPets voice messages shared between children and their family members were found being stored unprotected online. The report says in the…