The Office of the Data Protection Authority (ODPA) has launched a competition in all Bailiwick schools to encourage Year 7 children to think carefully about how they share their personal information, and how to keep it safe. The children will be asked to describe a superpower or super sense that would help look after personal data. This is in recognition of the fact that children are increasingly immersed in the digital world, with online content often shaping their decisions and choices.
As part of its ongoing partnership with the Youth Commission, in July 2022, the ODPA distributed the first of four themed postcards to students in their final term of Year 6. Since then, the whole series has been handed out through local schools, with the final postcard delivery this term marking the launch of the competition, which is open to all Year 7 children.
It is part of the ODPA’s ongoing partnership with the Youth Commission and the prize – a new laptop – has been kindly provided by Resolution IT. James Kelsh, Information Security Director from Resolution-IT commented: “Resolution IT is delighted to support the ODPA’s postcard competition. As a company specialising in information security, we know all too well how important it is to learn about data safety and your rights to privacy. We think it’s a fantastic initiative – I only wish I’d been taught more about data safety when I was in year 7! Many thanks to ODPA for inviting us to get involved in this project.”
Known as Project Bijou Seeds, the ODPA’s schools programme aims to raise children’s awareness of their rights as well as their responsibilities to others.
It is part of the ODPA’s commitment, and statutory obligation, to promote greater public awareness of the rights people have under data protection law but also the risks in relation to personal data processing, especially when it involves children. The Bailiwick of Guernsey’s Data Protection Commissioner Emma Martins commented: “We are thrilled to continue partnering with the Youth Commission to ensure that we do all we can to give children and young people the tools to navigate the digital world safely and our thanks go to Resolution IT for generously providing such a super prize. We have an enormous duty of care to the younger generation and it is so heartening to see the community effort across the Bailiwick in this area.”
The ODPA hopes that reaching young people earlier will help shape the culture change needed for future generations. The Youth Commission’s Head of Programmes Rebecca Silk commented:
‘Working with the ODPA helps us raise awareness in schools, youth groups and the wider community that all children and young people have rights over how information about them is used, and how essential it is to protect personal data and ensure data privacy even from a young age. This competition is a reflection of our continued partnership and co-operation to engage young people with data protection and empower them to take control of their personal information in an increasingly digital-age.” More details about the competition can be found at Home · ODPA – including our child-friendly T&Cs and data processing notice.