Research: safeguarding children’s data privacy and connecting communities through technology
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
InternetNZ has a proud history of supporting Internet research. Our grants programme offers us the unique opportunity to engage with researchers across Aotearoa who contribute to building the body of knowledge in and around the Internet.
Below are some highlights from published research that InternetNZ has funded.
Dr Maggie Hartnett, Massey University, Connecting Communities Through Technology
Digital technologies are a powerful force in bringing about equitable communities and societies. There are 322 public libraries across Aotearoa, and this research looks at how they can meet the digital needs of their users and communities.
Three surveys were developed for this study, for library managers, library staff and library users. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis were used to analyse the results.
The findings show that public libraries see themselves as effective at supporting users’ digital needs, and staff are interested and engaged in developing their own digital skills to support the needs of their communities.
Main enablers identified as supporting the digital needs of users:
- external partnerships
- sufficient equipment capacity
- appropriate staff digital expertise
- staff capacity.
Barriers included limited staff knowledge, time and capacity, lack of funding and physical resources.
Dr Caroline Keen, Keen Initiatives, Apathy, convenience or irrelevance? Identifying conceptual barriers to safeguarding children’s data privacy
Children and young people are often early adopters of new technology and e-commerce. But how much do they understand about how their own Internet activities are collected and used by corporations employing big data analytics?
In this paper, Dr Caroline Keen looks at results from 2019 research into barriers to protect children’s data from online commercial data practices. It explores how parents and teenagers conceive of privacy in a digital context.
Existing frameworks presume education will motivate individuals to protect children’s data privacy. The findings show that the way parents and teenagers think about privacy risks and harm limits their concern about corporate surveillance. By thinking about these risks within a social context, instead of a technological context, they fail to understand the potential risks and harm.
The research draws from qualitative interviews, with analysis showing that parents’ and teenagers’ understand privacy in terms of the private/public dimensions and fail to recognise the privacy risks that result from the consumer-corporate relationship and corporations themselves.
Each year InternetNZ gives out community grants to provide support for community-led initiatives that extend the availability, use, and benefit of the Internet and its associated technologies and applications in Aotearoa.
These initiatives received funding in 2019.