Schools to Teach Online Privacy to Kids

I’m all for online safety and educating kids to be safe online, however I personally think that the government are the worst people to be showing kids this for two reasons:

  1. They can’t even keep themselves and our personal data safe – Hardly role-models.
  2. Opportunity for abuse (aka Propaganda).

/rant on

Point one hardly needs explaining but point two probably does. It’s happening in the USA already and it’s bound to happen here. The government, or should I say Peter Mandelson are so deep in the pockets of the recording companies that they practically are members of the family. We all know file-sharing is illegal in the the way government refers to it, but we also know that they tell us it’s a common cause of viruses and other nasty online critters. You can bet your soul that they will incorporate this into their teaches to try and scaremonger young kids into staying away from file-sharing, ultimately because the industries can’t adapt but that’s a different argument.

We have to remember that governments are the people who come out say that X shouldn’t be allowed to happen on the Internet and Y should be allowed and will try to pass laws to stop certain events (traffic) taking place (or moving around) even though everyone else in the world is aiming for net neutrality and understands that the Internet is an international place not owned by any one single nation to try and take control.

I think more does need to be done for kids and online safety yes – Hell, even a lot of adults need teaching but I think that the government and their so-called taskforces are the wrong people to do it. This needs someone who actually understands technology and how to use it properly and someone who is not affiliated with any of the industries or companies with an interest in how the internet operates.

I just read an article on the BBC News website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8365574.stm) about the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP) complaining that Facebook and other sites aren’t doing enough to protect kids? Well may I point out that 1) Facebook has minimum age limits on new accounts – The majority of kids using Facebook are contravening the terms and conditions of Facebook and should have their accounts terminated, 2) A simple visit to http://www.facebook.com/help.php will show you a hell of a lot of information regarding privacy, security and information to help you keep your personal data personal.

I get sick to the teeth of reading about and hearing about people that say Facebook should do more and that it’s the people doing the bullying’s fault, but 9 times out of 10 its actually the fault of the misdirection and under-education people leaving themselves open to abuse, and if that’s not enough then perhaps a visit to http://www.facebook.com/deactivate.php and close your account will solve all of the problems.

/rant off