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Despite what many adults believe, privacy matters to youth. Teaching kids about privacy, ethics and digital citizenship can give youth the agency to control their personal information and avoid embarrassing or harming themselves and others with their online actions.

  • The Internet, surveillance, and privacy

    Information privacy is an important policy and social consideration.

  • Privacy issues

    Contrary to the popular beliefs of many adults, youth do care about their privacy.

  • Surveillance: Why worry, if you’ve got nothing to hide?

    The word surveillance comes from the French verb “surveiller”, which, when translated, means “to watch over”. [1] Sociologist and surveillance scholar David Lyon defines surveillance as “any collection and processing of personal data, whether identifiable or not, for the purposes of influencing or managing those whose data have been garnered”. [2] Increasingly, information gathering and surveillance technologies are becoming more and more common as part of everyday life and routines. [3]

  • Types of surveillance

    Children and youth who use the Internet are highly attuned to surveillance practices. [1] Research conducted by MediaSmarts demonstrates that for young Canadians surveillance is part of everyday life. While youth once considered the Internet to be a private space where they and their peers could play, communicate, and experiment, these attitudes have largely disappeared: on the contrary, youth now regard the Internet as a completely monitored space. [2] This surveillance of youth is primarily conducted by parents, teachers/schools, and corporations.

  • Advertising, marketing, and consumerism and children/youth online

    Children and youth are a huge potential market for corporations.

  • Techniques for literacy

    There is a common misconception that youth are not concerned with privacy. On the contrary, though, there is significant evidence to suggest that privacy is a major concern among youth, particularly when it comes to their actions online. [1] As a result of this concern, young Canadians have developed a wide range of techniques to resist surveillance or negotiate their own privacy.

  • Legislation

    Internationally, a wide range of legislation has been developed in order to manage and protect individual’s personal information. Canada’s public and private sector are governed separately in terms of privacy protection.

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