|dc.description.abstract||There is growing concern over online privacy in today’s digital worlds, in part due to the nature
of social media, which encourages the disclosure of personal information. Such concerns have
resulted in a significant amount of research;; so far focused on adults’ and teenagers’
perceptions of privacy and privacy management.
This study aims to explore how children perceive online privacy. It addresses three research
RQ 1: What are children’s views of online privacy?
RQ 2: What are parents’ views of online privacy? Do their views on privacy influence how
they deal with their children’s privacy?
RQ 3: What are the benefits and disadvantages of different Internet parental mediation
strategies for children’s online privacy?
Twenty-six semi-structured one-to-one interviews and ten focus group sessions were
conducted with fifty-seven pupils aged 9 to 11 years old (Primary 6 and Primary 7), from one
school in Scotland. Additionally, 8 parents were interviewed to understand how their
perceptions of privacy influenced their Internet parenting strategies.
This study has three overarching findings. The first overarching finding is related to children’s
and parents’ views about the Internet as an unsafe place, occasionally leading parents to
deploy restrictive and monitoring Internet parental mediation strategies. Second, children view
privacy as more difficult to achieve online than offline for two main reasons: (1) the Internet is
a ‘bigger space’ populated by a massive number of ‘people’, most of whom they do not know
nor have they ever seen (‘strangers’), and (2) there are certain difficulties in managing the
privacy settings of social networking sites. The third finding is that trust, autonomy and privacy
are interrelated. Trust reduce privacy concerns, encouraged for two-way information sharing
between children and parents, with an expectation that parents will be able to help identify
potential and also unexpected online issues, and necessary advice and safety precautions
can be taught to children. As a result, children will potentially be able to manage their online
activities in an increasingly autonomous way. Trust is important not only in interpersonal
relationships, but also for building confidence for contexts in which we do not have any prior
knowledge, such as with strangers or with the providers of online platforms.||en