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Published: 13 November 2020
‘This programme is an important pillar of the work we are doing. Ensuring young people have data rights incorporated into their broader education has many benefits. A well-informed young person is less likely to fall victim to the harms that can arise from misuse of their personal data, and is more likely to become a responsible and enlightened adult. When they enter the workforce they will hopefully already have an understanding of what the Law says they must do but also why ethically, looking after personal data is the right thing to do. As well as empowering people though education, we also want to encourage an exploring of the fascinating world of data and how it impacts our personal lives and our economy.’
‘There are so many good reasons for starting this programme and I’m very proud and excited to be part of it. Young people are among the most vulnerable members of our community and deserve the greatest protection. Yet they are often the most prolific sharers of their personal data through online games and activities. Helping them understand how to look after themselves and their data in such a digitally connected world is vital. But I have also tried very hard to show how data isn’t just shared online but throughout our general daily activities. Ultimately, I want them to learn how to be safe but have fun at the same time.’
The outreach programme will run on a continuous basis and is currently aimed at students in Year 6 and Year 10. Any schools wanting to book an outreach sessions for their students can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01481 742074.
‘The safety of our children is paramount and prevention of harm and abuse extends into digital and online environments. We know that the use of social media can impact negatively the wellbeing, mental health and resilience of our young people, where data can be shared easily and widely in one screen swipe and privacy often counts for little. Working with agencies like the Office of the Data Protection Authority is really important because it helps us to raise awareness in schools and amongst the wider community, using their legal voice to emphasise that a child has rights, and how essential it is to manage personal data and privacy even from a young age.
I am delighted to see the ODPA being welcomed into our schools to deliver their Outreach Programme, which supports the work that many have done on the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. I hope that the students receiving the talks will help to spread the word not just in school, but also to their parents and families that privacy and data management really matters because it helps to protect and keep our youngsters safe and well.’