IGF 2019 WS #170 Children's Privacy and data protection in digital contexts

Organizer 1: William Bird, Media Monitoring Africa
Organizer 2: Daniela Tews, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk e.V.

Speaker 1: Steffen Eisentraut, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Sonia Livingstone, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Phakamile Phakamile, Civil Society, African Group

Additional Speakers

Gehad Madi, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Intergovernmental Organization, African Group

Kai Hanke, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk e.V., Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rebekka Weiß, Bitkom e.V., Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)



Daniela Tews, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

William Bird, Civil Society, African Group


Daniela Tews, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

What are the views and positions of different stakeholders on children's rights to privacy and data protection? Who is responsible for the protection of data of children and how to fill the gaps of implementation? How to responsibly balance between protection and participation rights of children?


GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Description: The session will start with a brief moderated discussion of five different experts that will introduce their specific point of view. The participants are then invited to form five teams and each team is joined by one of the experts. The break out group discussion will be divided into five rounds of 10 minutes each. After every 10 minutes the experts leave their team and join a different team. That way each participant has the chance to intensely discuss with all the experts. For the discussion rounds we will provide questions and hypotheses to start and guide the discussion. Furthermore we will provide templates to structurally document the main aspects and outcomes of each discussion round. After each round the templates will be collected, clustered and displayed on a wall by the organizers. After the 5 break-out sessions the participants are invited to review the outcomes of each round at presentation wall. The session will close with a guided discussion about the learnings and outcomes. Agenda Outline 1. Experts Input (15 min) 2. Break-Out Session (50 min) 3. Presentation Wall (15 min) 4. Reflection and Discussion (10 min) Expert topics 1. Governmental regulation: Possibilities and instruments of monitoring violations of children’s privacy online 2. Digital Parenting. Privacy online and data protection in the context of the family 3. Education and media literacy: How to empower children and young people to become self-determined media users who respect human rights and privacy online 4. Technical Community – How engineers of Apps, games, platforms and devices can contribute responsibly to protect children’s data and privacy 5. Civil Society/NGO – A child rights perspective on privacy online and data protection for children and young people

Expected Outcomes: - Understanding of controversy perspectives on children's privacy online - Raising awareness on risks of violation of children's privacy online - Learning a child rights perspective on children's privacy - Learning chances of participating children to discover their own understanding of privacy and hounor

For the entire break-out group discussion there will be a host. The host will introduce the topic and agenda as well as guide through the whole session. Each break-out team will be joined by one expert as well as one team organizer. To encourage a lively but still structured discussion, each round will start with a question or hypotheses priorly prepared by us. A template will help the discussion-groups to document their main aspects and outcomes. The organizers will collected the outcome-templates and display them for the presentation. For the closing discussion we will provide a structure and one of the speakers will moderate this part.

Relevance to Theme: Personal rights such as the right to privacy and honour are not new. However, they become particularly relevant in the context of digital media use and digitisation. In view of the rapid and diverse distribution channels, personal data such as images or personal data in various forms like location or interests can quickly get out of control of one's own sphere of action and cause lasting damage. Especially when it comes to children and young people being online and becoming consumers of products and services, a particularly high responsibility to protect their privacy at various institutional levels is justified. These stakeholders must develop appropriate strategies that correspond and work together. Individuals, families, educational institutions and the state, and especially providers and developers of technologies, algorithms, games and online services, have to put personal rights before particular interests. These stakeholders are well aware of the many risks of media use and their responsibility towards children. However, their practice and actions often contradict this. There is a need for understanding and action here.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Child safety online is an essential issue worldwide. States have a special role of responsibility when it comes to the personal rights of their citizens, especially their children. They regulate how effectively data protection and privacy are respected and realised in their countries, how valuable and dignified the personality of each individual is respected on a legal level, social level as well as on the individual level. As contracting states to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, their actions and designs must correspond to the right of children to privacy and honour in accordance with Art. 16 of the Convention, also in the digital sphere.

Online Participation

We will inform people from our diverse network about the date and topic and policy questions of our workshop, that they are able to participate personally or online to bring in their perspective and questions. Our network includes persons from all different stakeholder groups in different countries, governmental, technical community, private sector, civil society, youth experts.

Proposed Additional Tools: Twitter/ Instagram: One of the organizers will moderate theses channels during the session. Realtime Board: Remote participants are invited to join our realtime board. There they can find the questions or hypotheses for each discussion round as well as the outcome template. They are invited to fill out the outcome template and display it on our real time board. During the presentation the particpants can not only review their outcomes but as well see the outcomes of the remote participants at our realtime board.

1. Key Policy Questions and Expectations
  1. What are the views and positions of different stakeholders on children's rights to privacy and data protection?
  2. Who is responsible for the protection of data of children and how to fill the gaps of implementation?
  3. How to responsibly balance between protection and participation rights of children?
2. Summary of Issues Discussed

Six broad themes emerged from the discussion, and there was common agreement on the relative importance of each. 

We have ranked them to relative to the comments received and focus on the discussion. 

1. Parents

 2. Inclusion of digital literacy in schooling curricula

3. Centrality of child rights and meaningful participation

4 The central role of technology companies was emphasized.

3. Policy Recommendations or Suggestions for the Way Forward

The following inputs are best described through a multistakeholder approach as not one issue falls within one category. 

Key issues for IGF would be meaningful participation in keynote, panels and sessions and the ongoing inclusion and focus on children's rights in all future IGFs. Finally, IGF to advocate for key internet bodies to require appropriate resourcing of children's digital rights issues. 

The input is as follows:

For parents: 

Suggestions for taking this forward include more focused attention on the provision of skills and information for parents and caregivers. Such training and skills need to be relevant to the context of parents. 

 2. Inclusion of digital literacy in schooling curricula:

Key suggestions put forth to achieve this was working with parents as stated above. Including digital literacy into school curricula from 8years and upwards.

3. Centrality of child rights and meaningful participation:

key to this were the importance of children being aware of their digital rights and having this taught in schools. Attendees also encouraged children to participate in the development of such policies.

4. The central role of technology companies was emphasized: 

Taking it forward would be the development of child friendly T’s & C’s.


4. Other Initiatives Addressing the Session Issues

For links on related parent information, please click here

For existing digital literacy skills and initiatives making a difference in the lives of children, please visit the websites - Web Rangers and Hashplay

MMA's initiative that provides simplified versions of Terms and Conditions, privacy and cookie policies of the five major social media platforms: Facebook; WhatsApp; Instagram; Twitter and Google,  please click here.

Additional resources include: 




5. Making Progress for Tackled Issues

Meaning progress can only be made with the active participation of children, government, tech companies and parents adopting a rights-based approach in understanding children's privacy and data protection. 

6. Estimated Participation

onsite participants - 60 people

online participants - very limited

women present onsite - 45 people

Women present online - unaccounted 

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

The differential impact in relation to women and girls was noted and that the girl child, in particular, are especially marginalised in the digital world.