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Sunday, December 17 • 09:00 - 10:00
Generation Z: Are children conditioned to accept terms and conditions?

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Organization: European Schoolnet - Insafe

Title: Generation Z: Are children conditioned to accept terms and conditions?


According to recent estimates, one in three internet users are children below the age of 18, with an increasing proportion living in the Global South. Members of the so-called “Generation Z” – born after the mid1990s – can spend up to nine hours a day sharing photos, consuming “content” and talking to friends online. The technical affordances of the internet have made it possible for digital platforms to collect and monetise large amounts of personal information from children. While young social media users will typically consider themselves as proficient, the Growing Up Digital report* published by the UK Children’s Commissioner in January 2017 found that children sign up for terms and conditions they do not understand.


In this IGF session, we will discuss in how far children and young people understand the Terms and Conditions they agree upon when being online, downloading an app or creating an account on social media platforms. Based on this, we will start from an analysis of existing regulations and tensions, looking at key issues at stake to see what can be done to ameliorate the current situation in order to more comprehensively address the need to involve multiple stakeholders when promoting and ensuring digital rights of young people in the more global context, as a precondition for a more inclusive and sustainable online environment.

More specifically, the following perspectives will be represented during this session:
• Young people: Outlining the day-to-day challenges when being online and participating in social networks and downloading new applications. Calling for the need to make Terms and Conditions more accessible (e.g. easy language, short and to the point, highlighting key information accordingly).
• Industry: Presenting improvements that have been done so far in order to make Terms and Conditions more user friendly. Sharing, awareness raising efforts that have been put in place to give further support to users e.g.
safety checks, while outlining what is planned for the future based on outcomes presented in the Growing Up Digital report.
• Legislators/regulators: Ensuring that consumer rights are protected and align with a more global set of data protection standards.
• Education / online safety stakeholders: Outlining the importance of supporting young people in the digital age, emphasising on the necessity of including the subject of digital citizenship respective online safety in the curriculum.

In terms of format, panelists will first lay down the core principles and expectations they have in regards to online platform/services Terms and Conditions. Subsequently, participants will break out in parallel groups in order to discuss a number of specific cases, focusing in particular on how social media platform can (and should) communicate on data collection practices and purposes in an intelligible and transparent manner. In terms of outcomes, this will help to more clearly delineate the various multiple stakeholder views and concerns at stake, while identifying and instigating opportunities and best practices solutions in trying to reconcile these often diverging perspectives.


Sunday December 17, 2017 09:00 - 10:00 CET
Salle 13 Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG)