Youth Privacy – Privacy & Access 20/20

October 7th, 2013

Author: Daphne Guerrero, Manager, Public Education and Outreach, Office of the Privacy Commissioner (Gestionnaire de la sensibilisation du grand public, Commissariat à la protection de la vie privée)

Last month, the Pew Research Center and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society released the results of a study they had conducted on where teens go when they’re looking for online privacy advice.

The researchers concluded that teens between 12 and 17 are pretty self-reliant when it comes to managing their privacy online, drawing on their own wits, observations and knowledge. And when they can’t manage on their own, the majority (70%) seek out friends, parents and other family members for advice.

These findings give us a glimpse into the minds of teens – knowing how they perceive privacy, what their concerns might be and how they are most likely to address those concerns is valuable knowledge for those of us in the business of developing tools and resources meant to educate young people about their online privacy. If we know how they’re seeking advice, and who within their networks they are approaching, we can fine-tune our own information and resources – and the methods we use to disseminate them – to maximize our efforts at reaching our intended audience.

But perhaps more importantly, strengthen the flow against the current suggesting that young people don’t care about their privacy online. And if you start from the premise that kids do care about their online privacy, then a whole new set of questions arises:

Do they have a different notion of privacy?

Do youth really understand what information they give up in exchange for the social media tools they use?

What are the gaps in their knowledge when it comes to understanding how technology affects their privacy?

These are questions I’m looking forward to delving into, along with my fellow panelists at Privacy and Access 20/20.

Daphne Guerrero - Manager, Public Education & Outreach, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

As the Manager of Public Education and Outreach at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), Daphne develops and oversees the Office’s education and outreach activities aimed at encouraging people to think and talk about digital privacy. Some of the initiatives she has spearheaded at the OPC include a national student video competition; […]