[iDC] Why Parents Help Children Violate Facebook's 13+ Rule

Tony Fish tony.fish at amfventures.com
Wed Nov 9 15:43:56 UTC 2011



from the session last week with a bunch of London based screenagers (14, 16,
17, 19 and 21 years old) - it is evident that they are far more aware than
their parents of harm and benefits, indeed they are the educators of the
teachers, younger siblings and parents (and me)


They (screenagers)  have found various ways round services that they don't
want to be tracked on and indeed one question came up about "show me how
easy it is to track" which showed that, at scale, it is much harder than you
think...... 1. location is off.  2. parents pay for mobiles.  3. mobile is
pay as you go.  4. several subscription for mobiles 5. use of persona and
pseudonyms  5. closed user groups   6. privacy setting managed   7. use
different IM to respond to question   8. migrate across platforms and
services over an evening..... 9. private back channels 10. shared machines
at home 


So we have "Consumer Kids" Mayo and Nairn at one end is about the possible
but as show in the demo's of tracking - not probable..... At the other end
someone knows everything and you cannot hide - again possible but not






07808 142121


From: idc-bounces at mailman.thing.net [mailto:idc-bounces at mailman.thing.net]
On Behalf Of John Sobol
Sent: 08 November 2011 15:21
To: idc at mailman.thing.net
Subject: Re: [iDC] Why Parents Help Children Violate Facebook's 13+ Rule


On Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 10:56 PM, Seeta Gangadharan
<seeta.gangadharan at yale.edu> wrote:

Hi Lynn/all,

Though survey research might be useful in ascertaining snapshots of
low-income communities' sentiments towards surveillance and privacy, I'm
not certain that a survey will capture breadth of harmful experiences
that result from tracking or that are perceived to result from tracking.
I'd love to hear someone who's working toward that end to suggest otherwise.

Hi all,

I would be interested to hear from people about this question too,
specifically, what are the actual harmful experiences that have resulted
from corporate tracking/targeting of teens/kids, as opposed to the perceived
or potential harmful experiences? I can think of the RIAA lawsuits but would
be keen to hear about others. 

Personally, as a parent of 'tweens I sympathize with the perspective that
assumes that any and all tracking and targeting of our kids - corporate or
otherwise - is inherently dangerous and undesirable. But another part of me
wonders whether this is not an unfounded assumption.

For example, I am of the belief that the passion for privacy that is
inherent to literate culture and that arises out of the anonymity of
literate technology has been a key factor in destroying our perception of
the interrelatedness of all things, and thus in enabling our disastrous
delusion that it is OK to exploit the earth to death (ours). Perhaps our
desire to migrate anonymity into networked culture is a fundamental mistake?
Perhaps we need to maximize our interconnectedness and our collective being,
not as unknown atomic individuals but as individuals unafraid of being known
by our words and deeds (or profile), i.e. not anonymous? Perhaps the price
we pay for our targeted social networking is targeted commercial networking?
Perhaps it is inevitable and OK that our economy should become personalized
- as it once was in oral economies - and our resistance to this stems from
our allegiance to literate economic principles and values that are based on
impersonal standardization as opposed to targeted personalization and
interaction (automated or in-person)? 

Targeted marketing already serves us well (or does it? I would say it does)
on ebay and amazon and etsy etc. Besides, was listening to the radio not a
form of targeting, and of suggestive marketing, or watching TV or reading
the newspaper? We let our kids do those things, so the difference appears to
be in the personalized tracking/targeting capabilities not in the pushing
out of suggestions per se. Partly what I'm saying is, do I care if
personalized ads as opposed to generic ads are targeted at my daughter? No I
don't. Do I care that a vast store of data about her personal and commercial
(and when she gets older, professional) life is in the hands of a company
that could be hacked or that could sell it to a 3rd party for non-commercial
uses? Yes, definitely. So although I don't really care about marketing,  I
do care about security. So from my personal perspective, perhaps the focus
of researcher's concern should be less on the not-so-nefarious practice of
targeted marketing and instead on the seemingly more alarming danger of
personal data being exported for non-commercial purposes? 

Obviously the 'potential' harm is 1984ish and nightmarish. But perhaps the
'potential' benefits, on the other hand, are utopian. Or more likely both
are somewhat exaggerated. But I disagree with you Danah when you say that
the key determining factor is social norms. I think the determining factor
is the architecture of the technology, or the code as you/LL put it.
Because social norms change as a result of technological architectures and
not the other way around, despite the fact that it is heresy to say so.
(Unfortunately, the Myth of the Myth of Technological Determinism is even
more entrenched than the Myth of the Myth of the Digital Native!) So partly
what I am wondering is whether - given that the architecture of networked
culture promotes personalization and destroys anonymity, fighting that new
digital norm is a less useful activity than building constructively on it,
no matter how uneasy this may make those of us who were raised to cherish
and expect anonymity in commerce and elsewhere. 

For example, I do not believe that the appropriate response to the RIAA's
litigious attacks on digital sharing is deeper hiding and sneakier sharing
tools, precisely because downloaders will always be trackable. I think the
appropriate response is collective self-empowerment in which millions of
people should come together and publicly acknowledge their actions as part
of a popular movement to challenge IP law and at the very least stop the
harmful music industry attacks on students and their families. Alternately,
bands should shed their labels and develop digitally-enabled fanclubs in
which every single fan is known by name and can be tracked and targeted, so
music and media can flow downstream to fans and money can flow upstream to
bands and the RIAA can be left out of it all entirely. That would be an
excellent example of benevolent targeted marketing and personalized
commerce, and I'd have no problem with my 12 year old sharing her personal
info in that context...

These are open-ended questions. Just thinking out loud and exploring
different perspectives...all comments welcome...

John Sobol

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