Commenting on the publication of a new report on children’s digital literacy from the House of Lords, ‘Growing up with the internet’, Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield said:
“We need to see action from both Government and the digital industry to ensure a better balance of power between children and social media companies. Children should be educated to engage creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly with the internet – to know when they are being manipulated, when and how their data is being collected and used, and how to disengage. This is why I want to see a comprehensive digital citizenship programme introduced in schools from age 4 upwards and the establishment of a children’s digital ombudsman.
“The digital industry also needs to take its responsibilities to children seriously, which means ensuring that terms and conditions around the ways children’s data and content are used are written in simple language, so that children can fully understand them and therefore make informed decisions. And I’ve called for my own powers to be extended to include the collection of aggregated data from social media companies so that I can see what problems children are having online, and whether their complaints are being taken seriously.
“I am delighted that today’s report has endorsed all of the recommendations made in my own Growing Up Digital report published earlier this year, and I look forward to further action from the Government and the industry.”