Children’s Commissioner’s report calls on firms to be transparent about collection of children’s data

The Who Knows What report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England draws attention to the vast amount of data that is shared and collected about today’s children. It considers the ways in which it might shape their lives, not just in the short term but into adulthood and whether new data protection legislation goes far enough to protect children.

“This is an issue that will only grow as technology continues to advance and it is vital that protections are put in place by the Government so that any data collected about children is done transparently and is used only for positive reasons.” Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England.

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

Even children too young to use the internet are affected. Last year, 2 million voice messages shared between children and their families through the internet connected CloudPet toy were found stored unprotected online.

Add this to data collected through connected baby cameras, location tracking watches, and the official data collected by public authorities and the picture of the child’s entire life and development builds.

Read the full report and infographic here

Article 5 of the GDPR states that organisations must process personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner under the GDPR. You can read more about data subject’s rights under the GDPR here.