CALL FOR PAPERS: Media and Communication special issue: Children’s Voices on Privacy Management and Data Responsibilization

(17-09-2019) Senior researcher Ralf De Wolf and Mariek Vanden Abeele (Tilburg University, The Netherlands) are editors of a special issue of Media and Communication.

Submission of Abstracts: 15-31 December 2019
Submission of Full Papers: 1-15 May 2020
Publication of the Issue: October/November 2020

Information: 

Over the past two decades, substantial research has been devoted to how individuals manage their privacy in relation to technological innovations such as social media, recommender systems, wearables, IoT, and smart cities. Increasingly, children are also navigating and experiencing these technologies and their complexities. Because these technological innovations drive on children’s personal information, it is oftentimes assumed that children need to develop certain awarenesses, skills and attitudes that help them to manage their personal data responsibly, thereby safeguarding their personal information.

While there appears to be agreement on the empowering potential of privacy literacy for children, some scholars have lately voiced their concerns over the burden that this responsibility places on children and their capacity for resilience. A pertinent question concerns the role of society in mitigating such data responsibilization, for example by putting the focus on the responsibilities of service providers and other stakeholders, rather than exploring how and to what extent children need to be cognizant, literate, and responsible for their personal information. While a balance between empowerment and protection is suggested, it appears difficult to obtain.

Given that children are key stakeholders in this debate, it is surprising that very little attention has been given to their opinions, perceptions and experiences. This is unfortunate, as their stories may inform about how children themselves perceive the responsibilities of the different actors involved. Moreover, their narratives may inform about how the social positions of children in contemporary digital societies are reflected in this debate. 

This thematic issue of Media and Communication aims to amplify the voices of children and invites scholars to examine their practices, perceptions and opinions with regard to privacy management and data responsibilization. We are especially interested in empirical research that investigates how children think about how their personal information might and should be used, as well as how they define their own and other actors’ rights and obligations, but also welcome critical analyses of the current debate. This thematic issue welcomes submissions on topics involving, among others, sharenting, intimate surveillance, privacy literacy, personalized advertising, social media and social games.

Example questions that are relevant include (but are not limited) to the following:

  • What do children think about their parents sharing personal information about them?
  • How do children perceive parental monitoring through social media, apps and or wearables?
  • In what ways do children experience surveillance in (online) educational contexts (e.g. digital learning environments)? What is their opinion on data collection and usage by schools?
  • How do children experience and what do they think about privacy literacy?
  • How do children think about personalization and data usage in social games (e.g., Clash Royale, Farmville)?
  • What do debates surrounding children and privacy management reveal about contemporary notions of childhood, parenthood, privacy, empowerment and responsibility?

Questions? Concerns? Please reach out to the editors at ralf.dewolf@ugent.be or M.M.P.VandenAbeele@uvt.nl


Instructions for Authors

Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and send their abstracts (about 250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Editorial Office (mac@cogitatiopress.com) and the editors (ralf.dewolf@ugent.be; M.M.P.VandenAbeele@uvt.nl) .


Open Access: 

The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join Cogitatio’s Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional members can be found here

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