AI + Data Privacy Activities for K-9 Students



Daniella DiPaola


Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers are grappling with some herculean questions regarding kids' safety online. Homemade slime with Doctor Squish5-minute crafts, and Minecraft videos: What constitutes “kids content” and how do content-creators convey this effectively? How does YouTube limit and minimize data collection in practice? What does a reasonable parent-child consent process look like? 

These conversations are often led by legal experts, technocrats, and academic researchers. To better understand children’s perspective and intuition of data privacy and collection, we organized a workshop with the end-user experts themselves: kids. 

This project seeks to inform youth about data and privacy topics through a series of hands-on activities. The goal is to encourage students to form their own opinions and think more critically about the platforms they use every day, instead of solely listing the dangers and the “what not to do’s.”

This curriculum was piloted in January 2020 with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.

As a part of this work, we have created a guide, "At-home conversations: 4-Steps to Debating technology and AI with your child," for families to talk more deeply about current controversial technology policies and practices. The guide provides resources for how to structure a debate-like discussion, as well as articles to get started.