The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed children into spending more time online, whether it be for education, recreation, or simply by the virtue to being stuck indoors. It has also increased challenges for parents, policymakers, and companies alike, given that children are exposed to online harms as they spend more time online. On the other hand, the pandemic has shown the deep digital divide, wherein millions of children do not have access to a device and internet connection. The United Nations Internet Governance Forum 2020, held earlier in November, discussed some trends and challenges around children's relationship with the internet, and what a governance framework should look to address. The following is a summary of the key issues discussed at the Forum. Challenges in children accessing education online The pandemic has shot up the requirement for children to stay online for longer, but has also highlighted the deep digital divide, wherein millions of children don’t have access to their own devices or internet connection. At the same time, ed-tech companies are amassing personal and sensitive data from children. In the context of the explosion of ed-tech and the consequent collection of children’s data, what are the implications of educational platforms for children's freedom right now and their future freedom when they grow into adults at a time when data from their childhood education on platforms may still be stored? How the GDPR deals with it, the need for protection against marketing and profiling: The GDPR requires special protection with regards to…
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