Read the latest research on children’s wellbeing as a result of Covid-19 and other news addressing online safety, education and more…
TOP NEWS THIS WEEK:
CHILDREN’S MENTAL WELLBEING DURING COVID-19
The Guardian recently researched the impact the Covid-19 crisis had on children. The research revealed concerns for the mental wellbeing of children from 7 to 24 years old. The investigation revealed alarming findings such as reports of safeguarding issues going up by 77% among a small sample of secondary schoolchildren and in particular self-harm. The guardian states that parents are worried over the long waits for children’s services and are even considering help from abroad for their children. Read more here.
NEW INTERNATIONAL STATEMENT ON END-TO-END ENCRYPTION AND PUBLIC SAFETY
A new international statement on end-to-end encryption and public safety signed by the governments of the UK, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, New Zealand and the United States, was recently released.
The statement talks about the severe impact on public safety where end-to- end encryption is implemented in a way that precludes all access to content. This includes the investigation of the most serious crimes, such as terrorism, and child sexual exploitation and abuse. The statement also calls on tech companies to work with governments to find solutions on the issue. The outcome could ensure the safety of the users without eroding user privacy or cyber security. Read more here.
INSTAGRAM UNDER INVESTIGATION
Instagram is being investigated for its handling of children’s personal data by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC). Facebook, the owner of Instagram, could face a large fine if found guilty of having broken the current privacy laws. The investigation started amid reports the social media platform had failed to protect data from being made public, including email addresses and phone numbers of minors. Read more here.
Rape case prosecutors must disregard sext messages
UK Prosecutors in rape cases now need to be aware of the change in sexual behaviour in the digital age. This change could be valuable when deciding if a case should go to court or not according to new guidance. Sexual behaviours such as nude selfies, dating apps and casual sex are now covered in the wide- ranging Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) review. According to the CPS, it is important for prosecutors in England and Wales to understand that for many teenagers, sexting is part of “everyday life”. Read more here.
Screen time is up—and so is cyberbullying
National Geographic reported on a recent study by L1GHT which analysed millions of websites and social platforms early during the COVID-19 crisis. The charity found that there has been a 70% increase in bullying and abusive language among minors on social media during the pandemic. In addition, a 40% increase was observed in toxicity on gaming platforms with a 200% spike in traffic to hate sites. The study analysed how to recognise the signs of children being cyberbullied and what to do. Read more here.
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