Guilherme Roschke, PETs, PITs and Safety: Privacy Enhancing and Privacy Invasive Technologies for Online Safety and Parental Control
Comment by: Alissa Cooper
Workshop draft abstract:
Several reports have identified consumer-directed technological solutions as at least one of the responses to the various harms and inappropriate content that minors are exposed to online. However, the privacy impact of these solutions is often left undiscussed. I analyze a few of these online safety and parental control technologies in the context of the continuum of Privacy Enhancing vs. Privacy Invasive technologies. This paper explores legal and technological responses to the problems they raise.
First I describe three examples of Privacy Invasive Technologies touted for online safety. “Walled gardens of surveillance” are whitelist or other services that place children in an enclosed online environment where they are subjected to potentially much more surveillance and online behavioral targeting. “Leaky monitoring” solutions provide to consumers the ability to monitor their children’s online experience, but also re-use the collected data in ways unexpected by the consumer, such as for market research. “Stalkerware” technologies are monitoring technologies sometimes marketed for safety, but also often marketed and used for illegitimate surveillance.
The response to Privacy Invasive online safety and parental control technologies includes legal as well as technological options. Regulators can apply existing legislation such as COPPA and the FTC Act to alleviate some of the privacy impact of these technologies. Further, by considering that the definition of “inappropriate content” should include the concerns of parents who find Privacy Invasive Technologies inappropriate, we invite the creation of Privacy Enhancing Technologies for online safety and parental control.