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

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018


    John Dempsey, Gavin Sim & Brendan Cassidy



    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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