Parents Warned About Online Data Harvesting Of Their Children

According to Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds, a child born in 2023 will have 72 million pieces of their personal data collected and stored on the internet by the time they are 13.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Hollonds said children should have the right “to be forgotten”, by allowing their data to be deleted once they reach the age of 18.

“This ubiquitous data, where is it all going, and how is it being stored?” Hollonds told The Daily Telegraph.

“Why are we asking for all this information and keeping it for so long?”

Hollands, who is an advocate for better awareness and tougher laws for children’s data on the internet, is urging parents to do more to protect their children online.

According to Hollonds, children are not old enough to understand what they are consenting to when they share data online. In some cases, it is also the parents who are giving up a child’s personal information.

Data harvesting can start when a baby is still in the womb, with investigations finding information can be kept from a mother using a pregnancy app or a shared ultrasound picture on social media. 

Dr Rys Farthing from Reset Australia told The Daily Telegraph said: “children’s data is exploited by default across Australia”.

“There’s no meaningful way young people or parents can escape the excessive collection and misuse of their data,” Farthing said.