Greg Morris

Parenting In The Information Age

After watching The Big Hack on Netflix, it has raised a few thoughts in my head about modern parenting. Where do my priorities lie now that I not only have to teach my kids all the life skills they need to survive, I now have to teach them about and protect them from giving away their privacy.

Luckily I’m pretty clued up on these kinds of things, my kids use digital tools for entertainment and education - but what happens if I wasn’t and how on earth do I even raise these issues with a child.

Children’s games are littered with IAP and sometimes predatory adverts to take advantage of an exploding market. YouTube is a cesspool of weird videos pitched as children content and paedophiles. Nowhere seems safe from exploitation or abuse, but when all of their friends use these tools, and there are definite advantages to being online, the wrong decision would be to remove them entirely.

There is nothing wrong with exchanging privacy for something you value, but it is essential you as an individual make that choice. Exchanging this for a service you find useful is a fair exchange to many individuals. However, this is not the case with a mobile game forgotten in a month at most.As much as I am here to make decisions for them in their best interests, I am not comfortable making one with such a bearing on their future.

So in a world where some people argue that personal data is more valuable than oil, I must now broach this subject with an eight-year-old. Find a balance between my children not missing out, but also being protected. I need to guide them through and educate them enough so they can make their own decisions regarding their data in the future. Not have it all given away as a child.