Digital Safety in the Era of Connected Cots and Talking Teddies
40 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 20, 2019
With funding provided by the Oak Foundation, we have been investigating how companies developing connected toys and devices for use by children and families in the home are managing the opportunities and risks that arise. Our research recognises that operating in this sector presents businesses with some particular challenges around issues such as data privacy, device security and gathering of parental consent. Through our findings, we seek to develop policy recommendations and research insights that might better support both responsible business practice and safe, empowering use for children. We argue that safety advice for families and children needs to be updated to incorporate the array of data-related risks that arise through use of such devices. More speculatively, we also suggest that we should expand our understanding of wellbeing in the digital age to encompass the broader societal implications of relying ever more heavily on abstract data collected about children (the ‘algorithmic child’) rather than judgements formed through embodied relationships with children.
Keywords: children, Internet, online safety, regulation, data, algorithms, connected toys, corporate responsibility
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