Children should be taught importance of
privacy in mainstream education, ICO says
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that it was important for children to learn about data privacy and freedom of information (FOI) rights, and that both "should be embedded in the formal education process".
The ICO is responsible for ensuring organisations comply with UK data protection laws, FOI laws and regulations on privacy and electronic communications. It said that it was imperative that children learned about privacy after revealing the details of research into the use of social networks by students.
A survey of more than 4,000 young people showed that 88% of secondary school students and 39% of primary school pupils have a social networking site profile, the ICO said. Most respondents had not read the sites' privacy policies, almost a third did not know what one was, and nearly a quarter said they did not know where to find the information, it said.
"Young people today are growing up in an age where an ever increasing amount of information is held about them," Jonathan Bamford, head of strategic liaison at the ICO, said in a statement. "It is vital that they understand their privacy rights and how to exercise them.