Commercial surveillance of children throughout their education and developmental years is unacceptable.
We need to strengthen New Zealand children's data privacy rights and protections. You can find out about our advocacy work to create greater awareness of children's exposure to corporate data mining and the consequences this can have in the media stories below.
Education Partnership & Innovation Trust
As part of my mahi around creating greater awareness of threats to children's data privacy, I took part in a panel discussion arranged by the Education Partnership & Innovation Trust. This is a good overview of the challenges that we have in New Zealand, and specifically the risks presented by EdTech within schools.
Panel participants: Dr Caroline Keen, Sociodigital Research; Brent Carey, CEO Netsafe; Angela Webster, Generation Online; and Rick Shera, lawyer.
Dr Keen's 2019 research revealed that parents generally believed that institutions and companies collected a minimal amount of data about them, and that there were regulations to prevent the collection of sensitive data from their children without parental consent. Parents were unaware of the risks that commercial software services and in particular EdTech, now widely used within New Zealand schools, pose to children's privacy. Dr Keen sits down for a kōrero with Senior Community Advisor/Kaitohutohu Matua ā-Hāpori Ciara Arnot.
Phil Pennington digs deeper into research here and overseas warning that schools are exposing children to privacy risks from commercial actors now supplying EdTech. The collection of their data has slipped beneath the regulatory radar, as schools are left to manage these issues without the resources to do so.
On TVNZ1 Breakfast
Dr Keen sat down with Jenny-May Clarkson on the TVNZ1 Breakfast show this Monday to start the conversation about how children have become exposed to global tech collecting their personal data without their knowledge or consent.
Dr Keen is interviewed by Phil Pennington from RadioNZ about how EdTech is exposing New Zealand children to new privacy risks.
NZ Privacy Foundation
Dr Keen is a member of the NZ Privacy Foundation's Working Group for Children's Privacy.
The Working Group is flagging the fact that there has been no oversight or auditing of EdTech in schools and consequently there are many concerns about persistent corporate surveillance of children both at school and across the internet. Check out the Issues paper the working group has issued for public discussion.
Ministry of Justice paper on third party notification
The Ministry of Justice is considering an amendment to the Privacy Act, and wants to know what you think about third part notification that your data is being used. It barely touches the surface but is an opportunity to express your thoughts on third party use of personal data collected by commercial interests and sold to third parties - often without your knowledge. But should the question be prohibiting the sale of your data to third parties without your informed consent, and further, prohibiting the sale of children's data to third parties entirely. Find the Ministry of Justice paper here.
How do Government handle personal data
Privacy Week 2022: Safeguarding Children's Data Privacy in a Digital World: Dr Keen, CEO of Sociodigital Research hosted a panel discussion exploring the ethical frameworks developing around the collection of personal information in New Zealand, with a specific interest in the safeguarding of children's personal data. Speakers from the MoE, GCPO, OPC, MSD and NZ School Association. This was facilitated through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
In 2019 Dr Keen conducted research with parents and children exploring how they understand privacy risk when online. The findings are timely and relevant to the current debate about addressing these issues and strengthening protections for students from commercial exploitation, and the longer term consequences for children. Read a summary of this research here.