Tablet computers are becoming the primary means for young children to go online. However, little work has examined how young children under 11 perceive and cope with personal data privacy during their interactions with these mobile technologies. Research in our current EPSRC SOCIAM project has revealed that a large amount of personal information is tracked while young children are interacting with tablet computers. Although the impact of these technologies upon the well-being of adults or teenagers are better understood, little is known about their impact upon young children. The main objective of Kids Online Anonymity & Lifelong Autonomy (KOALA) is to work with mental health researchers, parents and educators of young children, as well as young children themselves, to better understand the impact of personal data collection by mobile apps upon the well-being and health of young children.
KOALA is a new 10-month project funded by Oxford University’s EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account, starting from 1 December, 2017, in partnership with Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The general goal is to investigate the impact of the personal data collection practices of mobile apps upon the general well-being of young children aged 6-10.