The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a report today (8 November 2018) titled ‘Who knows what about me?’ on the data collected about children and the potential implications of sharing this data. It expresses concern that there is a lack of awareness about the types of data collected and how it might be used in ways that could jeopardise a child’s future.
Although data can be used to inform policy, identify risks and create more tailored services, it can also be used against an individual - both by influencing future decisions and by causing vulnerability for hacking or identity theft.
There are many ways in which data can be collected about children, and often these are unexpected, such as data ‘harvested’ from devices and apps including smart speakers and games.
Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield calls for children and parents to become more aware of what they share, and consider the possible long-term consequences. She also identifies actions that companies and the government should take.