What rights do you have online? If I’m honest I don’t actually know. I think I’m probably digitally savvy enough to be conscious of what I share online, with who and why. I know that I share too much data with Tesco and Amazon but I comfort myself with the fact that I get some trade off somewhere. I’m also lucky (aka getting old), in that when I was doing stupid things when I was growing up, they could only be shared within a relatively small circle – not potentially the world via Instagram. The mistakes I made, are now long forgotten and would take quite a bit of effort to find. As we all know it’s not quite like that anymore.
“iRights is a civil society initiative that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.”
The 5 i-rights highlighted by the campain: the rights to: know, remove, support and safety, make informed and conscious choices, and digital literacy are actually universal – not just for the under 18s. Being connected online should allow us to share, connect, explore, make mistakes as and when we choose. But in the Big Data world it’s not that straightforward.
“The exchange of information is an essential component of the digital world. However, it is inappropriate for a third party, commercial or otherwise, to own, retain or process the data of minors without giving them the opportunity to retract it or to correct misinformation.”
We believe children and young people should have the unqualified right, on every internet platform or service, to fully remove data and content they have created. This must be easy and straightforward to do.”
Our data should be ours, not the plaything of big businesses and advertising. As I said at the beginning of this article I am aware of some of the data I am willing to “give away”. I’m equally aware that I am probably giving away far more than I realise, and that I have little control or indeed options about getting it back or deleting it.
Education is central to the well being all parts of society,from pre-school to university and beyond. So let’s all start asserting our i-rghts and provide our children, young people and not so young people with the capacity to live, work and create useful, safe and when necessary, disposable digital environments where individuals not businesses control their data.