New project: Children’s online privacy

Image generated by Dall.E

We received a small grant from our faculty for the project “Children’s privacy when parents post online: How to stimulate responsible sharenting among family influencers?” In this project, we aim to study the reasons for why influencer parents post pictures of their children online and we aim to develop policy measures to stimulate responsible sharenting behavior.

Ini Vanwesenbeeck is the PI of the project, and we collaborate with Colette Cuijpers from the Tilburg Institute of Law and Technology.

On their social media profiles, family influencers (i.e., parents with a high number of
followers) engage in sharenting practices by posting images, videos and information on their
children. While influencer sharenting can be beneficial from a parental point of view in terms
of revenue and social capital, their children become vulnerable for several privacy risks
including identity theft, pedophilia, and future risks. Prior research established that family
influencers are aware of the risks, yet do not consciously consider those when depicting their
child. Therefore, in this study, we aim to develop and test several persuasive messages
specifically designed to affect parent’s cognitive biases in assessing their children’s privacy
risks. This research will result into several policy recommendations to stimulate responsible
sharenting behavior and children’s online well-being and contribute to new insights into
different legal frameworks on influencer sharenting.

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