You Should Force Your Kids to Study Privacy Policies

Just like we force them to buckle their seatbelts: Nicole Wong
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2015 11:07 AM CDT
You Should Force Your Kids to Study Privacy Policies

We teach our children about "stranger danger" and how to avoid untrustworthy people—so we should also teach them how to avoid untrustworthy technology. That's why Nicole Wong, a former deputy CTO at the White House and lawyer who's drafted "scores" of privacy policies over two decades of working for Internet companies, makes her kids read all the small print for any app they want to download or Web service they want to start using—and then present the information to mom and dad, who decide whether to OK the account after asking questions like "What information is collected?" and "Do any third parties have access to your information?"

"There are signs of dangerous apps, just like there are characteristics in people to avoid," Wong writes in the Christian Science Monitor. "Data is valuable and we should protect it in the same way that we protect our wallets, our bags, and our teddy bears." She thinks teaching kids to read terms of service and privacy policies should be as basic as teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street—and parents should also teach them how to safeguard any online accounts they do open. With these guidelines in place, kids will develop "the habits of precaution, just like buckling their seatbelts in the car." Click for her full piece. (Read more terms of service stories.)

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