Friday 23 February 2018

Parents alone cannot police our youth in cyberspace

When children go into cyberspace it is 'like letting your kids free in the middle of New York City on their own'.
When children go into cyberspace it is 'like letting your kids free in the middle of New York City on their own'.

Mary Aiken

At what point did we as a society make parents and care-givers almost solely responsible for monitoring minors in cyberspace?

In the real world, we do not expect parents to man the doors to public houses or newsagent counters to prevent underage youths purchasing alcohol and cigarettes. So why do we expect parents to tackle problematic youth cyber behaviour? In an age of ubiquitous technology, smart phones, tablets and public WiFi, surely monitoring youth behaviour online is nearly impossible for parents, teachers and guardians?

I am the academic adviser in psychology to the European Cyber Crime Centre at Europol, and we are very concerned about child welfare online. However, the landscape is continuously changing. Have you ever considered that when your child enters a search keyword and presses return, they are in fact interfacing with machine intelligence?

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