February 28th, 2014
Friend or foe? The rise of online advertising aimed at kids
By Rachael Post
Today’s children grow up in world saturated with technology and advertising. Pictures of mothers’ bellies on Facebook begin a child’s social media profile. Coupons for diapers arrive before the baby comes home from the hospital. More than 90% of children under two have a digital footprint – an online presence such as photos and other personal identifiable information. This may begin before they are even born, according to research by AVG Technologies, a global security software company that sponsors the Child Internet Safety Summit in London.
“The younger children are, the more vulnerable they are,” said Dr Allen Kanner, a family and child psychologist and co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “It’s becoming almost impossible to function as a child without a constant barrage of advertising.”