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IQ2 Debate: Privacy is Not For Children

It’s only once we’re adults we can see the risks and foolishness of our own childhood and teen years with clarity. Some worry the internet makes the costs of inexperience higher than ever. Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents naturally worry where their kids and teens are and who they’re with. It only takes one horror story about sexual assault, abduction, bullying, suicide, drug use or a party gone wrong to put absolute fear into people with under 18s in their lives. 

Technology presents solutions to this very human response. Apps can give parents peace of mind by allowing them to discreetly look at their kids’ call history, texts and internet use. But Australian police are warning parents this breach of privacy could result in distrust and distract from the real threat of adult online predators. 

Children and teens under 16 don’t enjoy the same levels of privacy as anyone older. They aren’t guaranteed doctor confidentiality and their psychologist is obliged to report matters of concern to caregivers. Is this fair? And should it be extended to internet use? 

Are children and minors incapable of using privacy to their own benefit? Do the risks of giving privacy to children outweigh the potential costs? Or do we undermine and unfairly inhibit young people by not affording them privacy? Should privacy be for adults only? 

These were some of the questions and more that we discussed at our final IQ2 Debate for 2016. We look forward to welcoming you at our new venue, Sydney Town Hall, in 2017.


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