Press Release: New Guide aims to make children and young people more aware of their European rights to online privacy and safety

Published date: 
19 Nov 2020


New Guide aims to make children and young people more aware of their European rights to online privacy and safety

The Children’s Rights Alliance today launches a new guide that aims to make information about the rights to online privacy and safety more accessible to the children and young people protected by them. The new publication, Know Your Rights: A Guide to Children’s European Rights to Online Privacy and Safety was developed with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Communicating Europe Initiative. 

Speaking on the launch of the new guide, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive says: “We are in the era of the datafication of children and young people. Companies are very sophisticated when it comes to the design of their online offerings for children, developing platforms that are purpose-built to encourage compulsive use. They are the experts when it comes to harvesting data. This is worrying when we consider that one third of internet users globally are children. We know most children are online from the age of eight or nine. This year in particular, children are spending more time online than ever before and there are very real consequences when young people and their families are not informed and empowered by their rights. The Irish Heart Foundation research has revealed that the high childhood obesity rate we have here is being fuelled by junk food advertising targeting children and teenagers online, particularly boys. This guide aims to inform young people about their European rights but also empower them to protect themselves online.”

“Recent studies have shown that Irish teenagers experience higher than average cyberbullying and problematic social media use,” continued Tanya Ward. “These can often be very difficult experiences for the young people involved or for parents worried about their child and unsure about what they can do. Our guide answers questions like: What should I do if someone under 18 shares an intimate photo of themselves with me? What should I do if an intimate image or video of my child is shared online? If I am being bullied online what should I do and who can I complain to?

It is critical that children and young people learn what the law is saying so they do not get themselves into very serious trouble. Understanding their legal rights will provide them with the necessary tools to take action when they feel their rights are not being protected or respected. There are remedies that can help keep children and young people safe and their personal data safe while online."

“The General Data Protection Regulation is not perfect, but it does contain special protections for children. There are actions children, young people or their parents and guardians can take to protect themselves online. However, the responsibility should not lie with the user alone. Far more needs to be done by the bigger technology and marketing companies who capitalise on the harvesting of online data. Ireland falls short of other countries in this space. The Government also must ensure that child safety online is an absolute priority and the upcoming Online Safety and Media Commission Bill and the Harmful Communications Bill are a good place to start,” concluded Tanya Ward.


Contact: Emma Archbold Children’s Rights Alliance, Tel: 01-662 9400 / 0879971410, Email:

Notes to Editor:
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive, Children's Rights Alliance is available for interview.
• Julie Ahern, Legal and Policy Manager, Children's Rights Alliance is available for interview.

The Know Your Rights: A Guide to Children's European Rights to Online Privacy and Safety is available here.

Please include details of the Helpline for your readers:
Children's Rights Alliance Helpline: 01 902 0494
Open Mondays 10am to 2pm, Wednesdays 2pm to 7pm and Friday 10am to 12 noon.

About the Children’s Rights Alliance
• Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL.