The Datafied Child: The Dataveillance of Children and Implications for Their Rights

Lupton, Deborah; Williamson, Ben
New Media & Society

Children are becoming the objects of a multitude of monitoring devices that generate detailed data about them, and critical data researchers and privacy advocates are only just beginning to direct attention to these practices. In this article, we provide an overview and critique of these varied forms of datafication and dataveillance of children, from in utero through to the school years. Our approach is informed by recent calls for research on children’s rights in the digital age that examines the conditions that give rise to children’s needs and guide provision of resources necessary for development to their full potential, the array of specific harms they may encounter and the significance of and particular opportunities to participate in matters that affect their wellbeing and enable them to play an active part in society. There remains little evidence that specific instruments to safeguard children’s rights in relation to dataveillance have been developed or implemented, and further attention needs to be paid to these issues.