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Data Perpetuity and Social Media

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UoC July 28, 2020

Under the broad umbrella of ‘safety’ the first risk element we can consider is the perpetuity of data. Data may be deleted but nothing is ever truly erased online. Of particular concern on this issue is the collective repository of unfiltered publicly accessible records of an individual’s personal life, known commonly as social media. 

Many social media platforms permit access to children 13 years old and above. Children, at an age where they are still discovering the boundaries of social interaction, are given a platform to record publicly and permanently their thoughts and opinions.

The problem is amplified when social media data begins to be used by the insurance industry, loan applications, employment applications or legal proceedings.

Adding a new dimension to children’s privacy in the digital age is the phenomenon of ‘sharenting’ – where a parent shares a child’s personal information or images without their consent. The absence of any form of consent by the child presupposes that the information being shared is, in fact, harmless. This of course, cannot be guaranteed.