- Data drives the internet, and personal data is a part of that. A user’s personal data may be collected by apps, online services and devices they use. This data can take a number of different forms, from personal details that a user gives about themselves in order to sign up to an online product/service (e.g. name, email address) to personal data disclosed through the use of a service (e.g. adding personal details to an online profile/account, uploading photos or videos of themselves or others).
- Other types of personal data may also be collected. These can include how someone uses a device or service (such as how long someone spent on a service or watching a video, the time they logged in, the actions they took on the service, products that were browsed on a shopping site), the approximate geographical location of the user or their device, details of how they are connected to the internet (such as their IP address or service provider) as well as technical specifications of the device being used (such as the model type and operating system). Some of this usage data may be anonymised so that it cannot be traced back to an individual, other usage data may be explicitly linked to an individual.
- The personal and usage data collected about a person can affect their experience when using online apps, games and services. It may affect the types of adverts that are displayed on the service. On shopping apps and platforms it may affect the products that are recommended by the service. On social networks, it can also affect recommendations of things to watch or interact with, as well as suggestions of other users to connect with.
- Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) consent must be sought by online services in order for personal data of a child to be collected and processed. The age of consent varies between EU states from 13 to 16. Services must have a lawful basis for collecting personal data of children, and children have the same rights as adults over their personal data; including accessing their data, objecting to it being collected and requesting to have it erased.
- Personal data is valuable online – for individuals and companies. Talk to your child about the types of data that might be collected online (including usage data) and how personal data can change the things they see or experience online.
- Investigate the Terms and Conditions and privacy policies for the services your child uses so you are more aware of what types of data are collected and how they are used
- Work with your child when they wish to sign up to a new app/game or create an online account. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about how it works as well as discuss safe and positive use with your child.
- Look out for emails asking you to confirm a child’s account on online services. This confirmation gives consent for that service to legally collect personal data about your child. For some services, you may be able to create child accounts that are linked to your own personal account, which will also give consent for data collection.