The kids, technology and privacy

June 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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I’m just reading an interesting article about how the mass media (i.e. adults) talk about how children and youth use technology. You know the story: kids today share every intimate detail with each other about their lives; they have no sense of privacy; when they grow up, there really will be no privacy left in the world…

But Susan Herring makes the excellent point – one of those points which is obvious once you come across it, but which you hadn’t necessarily thought of beforehand – that today’s youth and children are the most monitored and watched over generation ever to have lived. Their schools have CCTV cameras and they pay for their lunch at the canteen electronically (meaning their parents can see what they had for lunch every day this week); their parents install internet monitoring software on their computers; their parents use their kids’ mobile phones and their cars’ GPS systems to track them…

All of which raises the slightly subversive question: when adults say with despair that “the kids” don’t care about their privacy, are the adults not being perhaps a little bit hypocritical?