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Koala kids online anonymity lifelong autonomy child on tablet computer

PI: Sir Nigel Shadbolt

Department: Computer Science

Research in Sir Nigel’s EPSRC SOCIAM project has revealed that a large amount of personal information is tracked while young children are interacting with tablet computers. Third parties are using this information for targeted advertisements or game promotions. Existing research has shown that loss of control over personal privacy can introduce stress or anxiety for adults. This is also demonstrated in studies of the impact of technologies on teenagers’ well-being and mental health. Nowadays young children aged between 6 and 10 are becoming extensively exposed to technologies, and the impact on this age group is largely under-studied. The main objective of this project is to assess how our current privacy education tools can help educators and parents teach children about privacy protections while using tablet computers, and for mental health researchers to better assess the impact of these technologies on young children. This will lead to an improved prototype driven by real users’ needs.

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