Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt had this chilling prediction about a child’s digital footprint in The New Digital Age in 2013 (required reading for everyone):
Near-permanent data storage will have a big impact on how citizens operate in virtual space. There will be a record of all activity and associations online, and everything added to the Internet will become part of a repository of permanent information. The possibility that one’s personal content will be published and become known one day—either by mistake or through criminal interference—will always exist. People will be held responsible for their virtual associations, past and present, which raises the risk for nearly everyone since people’s online networks tend to be larger and more diffuse than their physical ones.
And here’s the money shot…
This will be the first generation of humans to have an indelible record
True to Schmidt’s prediction, the footprints of our children seem to be expanding exponentially.
This week, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, published what may evolve as a landmark initiative, Who knows what about me? A Children’s Commissioner report into the collection and sharing of children’s data. If you have children or have anything to do with children you need to check it out. The pictures we share and the voices we record all create an indelible record in our child’s digital footprint …
On average, by the age of 13, parents have posted 1300 photos and videos of their child to social media. The amount of information explodes when children themselves start engaging on these platforms: on average children post to social media 26 times per day – a total of nearly 70,000 posts by age 18.
If you don’t know what you’re doing as a parent, you’re not alone. Few of even the best parents have the capacity or the practical know-how to create the necessary limits for technology use in their children.
Read Who Knows What About Me and think twice about how you are contributing to your child’s digital footprint before she’s ready to deal with it.
Want to learn more about your digital footprint? Check out the 33 charts Digital Footprint archive. Every post on 33c has little tags way below the bottom of the post. These help you find related content that you will just love. Click on it and check it out.