Designing for GDPR - Investigating Children’s Understanding of Privacy: A Survey Approach

Dempsey, John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3716-096X, Sim, Gavin orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9713-9388 and Cassidy, Brendan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0756-9657 (2018) Designing for GDPR - Investigating Children’s Understanding of Privacy: A Survey Approach. In: BCS-HCI '18: 32nd Human Computer Interaction Conference, 02 - 06 July 2018, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places new obligations on businesses that collect and process data from children. It goes so far as to say that privacy notices should be presented in child-friendly and age appropriate formats. Fulfilling GDPR obligations will require designers to have a better understanding of how children understand privacy issues. This research aims to investigate children’s understanding of privacy online. Thirty-two children from a UK primary school, aged between 8 years and 10 years old completed a survey to gauge their understanding of privacy. Eight different scenarios were presented to the children and they had to decide whether the information should be kept private or not and state the reason why. This work identifies that children do have an understanding of privacy, especially when related to online safety. However, children do not yet understand that their data has an inherent value, have misconceptions about data and what data should be protected. This highlights the challenges for designers of technology used by children to meet the GDPR obligations.

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