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Original scientific paper

Media Representation of Children’s Privacy in the Context of the Use of “Smart” Toys and Commercial Data Collection

Tijana Milosevic ; University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Patricia Dias ; Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal
Charles Mifsud orcid id ; University of Malta, Malta
Christine W. Trueltzsch-Wijnen ; Stefan Zweig University of Education, Salzburg, Austria

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The growing use of “smart” toys has made it increasingly important to understand the various privacy implications of their use by children and families. The article is a case study of how the risks to young children’s privacy, posed by the commercial data collection of producers of “smart” toys, were represented in the media. Relying on a content analysis of media coverage in twelve European countries and Australia collected during the Christmas season of 2016/2017, and reporting on a follow-up study in selected countries during the Christmas season of 2017/2018, our article illustrates how the issue of children’s privacy risks was dealt with in a superficial manner, leaving relevant stakeholders without substantive information about the issue; and with minimum representation of children’s voices in the coverage itself.


internet of things, privacy, commercial data collection, children’s rights

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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