Children have the right to be listened to, and adults do not necessarily know very much about children’s experiences or lives online. This is why we decided to let the children explain to us, in their own way, the role that the internet plays in their lives, and their views on specific online aspects.
We listen to children through the Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) in collaboration with child rights organizations and schools in the Nordic and Baltic countries. So far around 1,500 children, 12-15 years old, have participated by describing and discussing the opportunities, benefits and challenges of life online.
Cap research in 2017 focused on children's views, concerns and practices regarding online privacy and safety
An average CAP-kid seems to be quite informed and careful online. CAP-kids find online privacy important and are well aware about ways to improve their data security. 94% of the CAP-kids think that passwords should be kept secret. However, 5% have shared their passwords online with friends and 56% use the same password for most apps and games.
More than half of CAP-kids have had negative online experiences. One out of four of the CAP-kids report having received disturbing contacts and messages online.
The CAP research clearly showed three main categories of kids
Tech-savvy boy pushing the boundaries
Regular kid enjoying the opportunities
Vulnerable child needing support
CAP-kids want to be in control when it comes to privacy and their information online, although their definition of privacy may differ from that of adults. Three most important aspects for them are that:
- Information about them is not shared without their permission
- They can delete their videos and pictures if and when they choose to do so
- More reliable and educated adults are online to help if their privacy is violated
What can we do?
Companies can contribute by creating awareness about online privacy and safety in a way children can understand. Telia Company is taking that step by offering interactive workshops, where children learn through participation. We have used the insights from the Children’s Advisory Panel to design a concept for a training for children, focused on understanding and being in control of one’s data.
Key findings from the Children's Advisory Panel (CAP) - 2016/17
CAP-kids embrace the opportunities of life online
"You can make friends all over the world if you want to."
CAP-kids show a high degree of maturity and resilience in their online presence.
“Wikipedia is not always true. Everyone can write. You need to check more places to see if it is true.”
CAP-kids care about their own and others’ online identities.
“You never know who is who on the internet. Everyone could be anyone. So you have to be careful to not forget this.”
CAP-kids consider good connectivity a major enabler of social inclusion.
“[What could impress you on the internet?] If everyone could have equally strong internet. When we play games [online] sometimes the internet fails for some of my friends. Then they are thrown away from the game or conversation on Skype breaks.”
CAP-kids expect presence and guidance from adults, however, from a distance.
“It is important to have rules so that everyone behaves and can feel safe. Bullying can really hurt you.”