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 Privacy Findings 

We know about data leaks and privacy leaks in banking, and more. But when it comes to children, there must be more stringent guardrails. Big data can change the way a child consumes, behaves and feels. Developmentally, this kind of control can be dangerous. Children today are on small personal devices that barely leave their side. Even while they are sleeping, as our "Sleep Findings" discovered. And with this "always on" generation comes an industry that is thriving at the cost of the health of our children.

Research Summary

To understand the true impact of advertising to children by tracking their preferences, geo-location tracking and more, one must first understand that both privacy and marketing to children on the internet are intertwined.

Media and advertising industries know children spend billions of dollars annually and are developing new and more sophisticated ways to track young children and eventually this kind of "big data" collection poses a huge risk to a child.

We need to understand why Big Data is such a concern, but even before that, how many of us truly understand what Big Data is? Big Data is “the data sets and analytical techniques in applications that are so large and complex that they require advanced and unique data storage, management, analysis, and visualization technologies.”

Key Takeaways

  • Media and advertising industries are creating new ways to track young people’s behaviors and target content and messages. These invasive practices could pose serious threats to children’s privacy, leading to the creation of “digital dossiers” that “stick” to young people over time and impede their access to education, jobs, healthcare, or finances.

  • Although much of academic research on children’s privacy has focused on the safety risks involved in sharing personal information on the internet, children’s privacy cannot be fully understood or adequately addressed without taking into account the market forces that shape contemporary digital media.

  • Research on children and privacy has not kept pace with the evolution of media, advertising, and technology taking place globally. Scholars, therefore, need to develop new approaches to understanding the complex ways that children and adolescents engage with commercial media culture.

Sources

[1] McAlister, A. R., & Cornwell, T. B. (2009). Preschool children's persuasion knowledge: The contribution of theory of mind. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 28(2), 175-185.

[2] Moses, L. J., & Baldwin, D. A. (2005). What can the study of cognitive development reveal about children's ability to appreciate and cope with advertising? Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 24(2), 186-201.

[3] Rozendaal, E., Lapierre, M. A., Van Reijmersdal, E. A., & Buijzen, M. (2011). Reconsidering advertising literacy as a defense against advertising effects. Media Psychology, 14(4), 333-354.

[4] Buijzen, M. (2007). Reducing children's susceptibility to commercials: Mechanisms of factual and evaluative advertising interventions. Media Psychology, 9(2), 411-430.

[5] Lapierre, M.A., Fleming-Milici, F., Rozendaal, E., McAlister, A.R., & Castonguay, J. (2017)  The Effect of Advertising on Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics, 140(140S2). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1758V

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