back to article As if connected toys weren't creepy enough, kids' data could be used against them in future

Connected toy makers should make clear what data they slurp up, the UK's Office of the Children's Commissioner has said in a report warning of the long-term impact of amassing data on kids. According to the report (PDF), young folk will have sent out an average of 70,000 social media posts by the time they reach 18, while snap …

  1. whitepines Silver badge

    How about a simple blanket ban? Unless this is the final step in the Owellisation of the West, and the cause of its inevitable decline and fall when these perpetual children physically age to the point of running the country. Then fail because they literally cannot think outside the box.

    Across the pond, in the US, students are literally losing spatial awareness and blundering into walls because of the toll the heavy handed "educational" system places on the developing brain. Food for thought.

    1. arthoss

      If I were working for an unethical employer I’d set up a data slurper to gather info for use from children and teenagers 20 30 years later on them. That means it’s already happening

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blanket ban

      If they do that, I'll change my birthdate in Facebook from 1904 to 2004!

      1. onefang

        Re: Blanket ban

        "If they do that, I'll change my birthdate in Facebook from 1904 to 2004!"

        A web site I registered for recently allowed setting your birth date to future years, up to 2050. That could help protect my privacy for quite some time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blanket ban

        "If they do that, I'll change my birthdate in Facebook from 1904 to 2004!"

        Google actually closed an account I had with them for attempting to do the same thing.

        They said I was violating their terms of service.

    3. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Explains a lot...

      "when these perpetual children physically age to the point of running the country"

      ... which would suit certain corporations just fine.

      But hey! At least when this happens, it'll finally be the year of Linux (albeit a very robot-y, Google-tied version) on the desktop!

  2. Suburban Inmate

    Reminds me of China

    China's "Social Credit Score" system is similar, but it seems we're letting it be built piecemeal by companies and the state.

    1. Spazturtle

      Re: Reminds me of China

      We already have a similar system here in the UK, customs use a scoring system to decide whose packages to open and inspect.

      1. Suburban Inmate

        Re: Reminds me of China

        That'll be why that sodding battery charger isn't here yet...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must have missed something

    "A child talking about their mental health problems on social media might find that this information hinders them from getting health insurance or perhaps even other types of credit."

    I wasn't aware health insurance - or any other kind of insurance - counted as "credit". If it does, can someone tell DVLA I want to cancel my car credit please?

    And don't the social media platforms have something to say about children using their services, along the lines of "Don't"?

    1. Spazturtle

      Re: I must have missed something

      Of course they count, you have signed a contract saying you will pay £X every month for 1 year, and they are trusting you to actually pay every month. If you have an amazingly bad credit score they will ask you to pay it all up front.

  4. SVV Silver badge

    Just ignore social media when recruiting

    Seeing how everybody's overly shiny LinkedIn profiles and inane Facebook and Twitter accounts are fairly equally offputting, ignore them and just concentrate on CVs, interview performance and performance once recruited. It will save you wasting a lot of time, and possibly money too once people start marketing spurious social media analysis tools that purport to filter the best candidates for you automatically.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Just ignore social media when recruiting

      well LinkedIn is still ok if all you do is use it for resume and references. All of that OTHER noise needs to just GO AWAY. I've tried to give it a chance since MS came in, but they're starting to turn it into Facebook I think.

      As for automated algorithms that glean personal stuff about you on social media, a nice big fat DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT is in order if something you said online is used to prevent you from being hired, get a loan, or buy insurance. Proving it might be hard, though.

  5. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Kid's data used against them?

    Well, there goes your chance for an appointment to the Supreme Court.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Kid's data used against them?

      I would have thought that picture would help you get appointed to the Supremes while the Carrot-topped one is in the white house.

  6. onefang

    'The report also argued children are "becoming accustomed to sharing their information without asking why it is needed or what it will be used for", saying a lax attitude has been identified in kids as young as six.'

    Um, are we expecting six year olds to be fully woke privacy activists?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Um, are we expecting six year olds to be fully woke privacy activists?"

      Stranger Danger!!!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many other "vast quantities of information"....but no one cares!

    Quote: "...barely hints at the vast quantities of information that are teacher opinion..."

    ......There's the "vast quantities of information" at GCHQ and elsewhere which is "data that parents and children don't see".

    Then there's the police "super database"......


    Why the outrage about data about "kids", when NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE STASI collecting data on every citizen, data that is completely secret....even its EXISTENCE is secret??

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