Press Release:

Project Bijou Seeds – empowering young people in the digital world

Published: 22 May 2023

During the week commencing 22 May 2023 the Office of the Data Protection Authority (ODPA) is running the first of its new school sessions for Year 10 students. The session is the latest addition to the ODPA’s Project Bijou Seeds aimed at sharing knowledge with children and young people. 

The session is designed to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities of our increasingly digitalised world, and the role personal data plays in fuelling advances in technology. There’s a particular focus on how the data we generate online is used by technologies like Artificial Intelligence, and the opportunities and risks this presents. The Year 10 students will have the opportunity to test their skills on spotting real or fake images and videos, they will hear from pioneering technologists of the need for guardrails in emerging technologies, and will discuss how personal information is shared. The students will be encouraged to discuss the value of their personal data, the rules surrounding its use, and the rights they have over it. 

The ODPA’s Outreach Officer, Kirsy Bougourd, who developed the new session commented, 

“The session is very much about engaging with young people. We all have so much to learn from them as they are immersed in these technologies, so this is our opportunity to listen to their experiences.” 

Project Bijou Seeds helps the ODPA fulfil its statutory duty to raise awareness of these issues and to ensure young people understand their rights over their personal information. Following the initial run in one local secondary school this week, these sessions will be rolled out across Bailiwick schools in Year 10 in the future. 

About Project Bijou Seeds
The ODPA has a statutory function under section 61 of the Law “to promote public awareness of risks, rules, safeguards and rights in relation to processing, especially in relation to children". Project Bijou Seeds forms part of the ODPA Strategic Plan and statutory obligation to raise children’s awareness of their rights, and to understand their responsibilities to others. The project aims to positively engage all children and young people in: how valuable their personal data is; why it must be protected; and why we must treat others well too.

Resources used in session 
The new schools sessions were inspired by, and make use of aspects of, the following resources: 
• The dystopian short film ‘Slaughterbots’ about autonomous attack drones, featuring commentary by computer scientist Stuart Russell OBE.  
• The audio play ‘Metaverse 2030’ by Louis Rosenberg which imagines a possible near future where people interact within an augmented reality.   
• The presentation ‘The AI Dilemma’ by Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin of the Center for Human Technology which discusses how A.I. capabilities pose catastrophic risks to a functional society, how A.I. companies are caught in a race to deploy as quickly as possible without adequate safety measures, and what it would mean to upgrade our institutions to a post-A.I. world.
• The book ‘Human Compatible – Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control’ by Stuart Russell OBE.