Why is protection of children's personal data so important?
In digital age special attention should be paid to teaching children about the dangers they are exposed to online, as children are most exposed to the adverse effects which can occur due to use of personal data, such as online scams, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, or sexual abuseThe General Data Protection Regulation recognizes children as a particularly vulnerable group as they are unable to adequately manage their personal data, as they are often not aware of the dangers they expose themselves to when they do not manage their personal data carefully and are oftentimes not sufficiently knowledgeable or experienced to recognize the risks and dangers of the internet. For this reason, children can use certain online services for which personal data can be provided only with the parent’s or legal representative’s (guardian’s) consent. Information and communication for children should be written clearly and simply, so that children can understand it.
In the digital age we live in, special attention should be paid to teaching children about the dangers they are exposed to online; i.e. when using the internet, various applications and social media, since children are most exposed to the adverse effects which can occur due to use of personal data, such as online scams, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, sexual abuse or identity theft.
The Agency emphasizes that children should not accept friendship requests on social networks from persons they do not know in the real world and that it is particularly dangerous to exchange their personal data with these persons, especially data of very personal and private nature which can become a dangerous instrument of blackmail and threats in the wrong hands (paedophiles, blackmailers, malicious individuals).
Certain inappropriate content on the internet represents a permanent act of violence because once it is published, content becomes globally available and very rapidly spreads across the internet, which makes it very difficult to remove and prevent it from being spread. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have witnessed the appearance of a new type of cyberbullying with most tragic consequences—cyberbullycide.
Virtual reality is becoming reality for children and young people, and along with many benefits it provides, it also poses many risks. Misuse of personal data can only be reduced by promoting responsible behaviour, which should be a shared effort of all institutions and persons taking part in the child’s upbringing.
Children and young people are advised that they do not click on content and programs which take a lot of time and could be malicious and harmful when they are enjoying all of the benefits the internet offers by acquiring new knowledge and skills. Since children and young people are a particularly vulnerable social group, the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency published a brochure with useful advice on how to behave online and on social media along with a simple free application based on this brochure.