“Some stuff you just want to keep private!” – Preliminary report on Stream II of the DPC’s consultation on the processing of children’s personal data and the rights of children as data subjects under the GDPR
29th July 2019
From December 2018 to May 2019, the Data Protection Commission (‘DPC’) ran a public consultation on the processing of children’s personal data and the rights of children as data subjects under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This consultation was launched in an effort to address a number of questions arising in the context of new child-related provisions under the GDPR, which is the first EU data protection law to highlight the importance of the protection of children’s personal data and the position of children as data subjects. This consultation was organised into two streams: one aimed at engaging adult stakeholders and industry, and the other aimed at children and young people.
Stream II sought to involve children and young people directly in the debate by engaging them in the classroom in a specially designed consultation process aimed at students aged 8 and above. The DPC created and distributed a pack of lesson plan materials designed to help teachers explain and discuss data protection issues with their students, with a particular focus on social media and the types of data routinely disclosed through activity on social media. The DPC received a total of 50 submissions from different schools and Youthreach centres across the country, equating to the views of approximately 1200 students based on an average class size of 25 pupils.
The DPC has created a preliminary report on Stream II of the consultation in order to give an insight into the level of engagement we experienced and to provide an overview of the headline trends and themes emerging from the feedback we received from children and young people in their submissions. This report is not intended to serve as a primary piece of academic research – the purpose of this consultation was simply to gather the feedback of children and young people in relation to important data protection issues and to use this feedback to inform our approach to the guidance we will ultimately create on this topic.