Privacy 2015 Part I: Parents Can’t Pay Too Much Attention

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.08.04 PMIt is a given in this age of connected life that our privacy is much diminished, and it does not matter whether we are children or adults. The trick seems to be for each us to make thoughtful decisions about what family members share and, as much as possible, be aware what is shared or collected about us.

For me, this has been an interesting week where privacy and kids’ privacy is concerned, because four distinct event occurred.

First I heard and read a lot about the situation in New Jersey where the test makers are monitoring the social media accounts of the children taking the tests. Then I discovered a program/app called Ghostery that monitors various services that collect data based on my Internet activities, and I installed it on my computers. Next, a student (not even a middle school student) came to ask me how to diplomatically ask a parent not to put up any more pictures on Facebook. And finally, the amazing Pew Internet folks announced the results of a privacy poll that they have just conducted now that we are two years passed the Edward Snowdon and NSA data collection events.

I’ll be writing a series of posts – one on each event, so stay tuned. The takeaway, however, from my week of thinking about privacy is that in this era of sharing, social media, and data collecting, we don’t have much of it anymore. What privacy we do have is lessening all the time.

So while you wait for my next few posts, please give some thought to ways that you can build a bit a privacy around yourself and your family members. To get you started, you might want to watch a video on digital footprints, produced by the Center for Investigative Journalism.

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