Hey, Google, leave those kids alone: Against hypernudging children in the age of big data

AI and Society:1-11 (forthcoming)
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Children continue to be overlooked as a topic of concern in discussions around the ethical use of people’s data and information. Where children are the subject of such discussions, the focus is often primarily on privacy concerns and consent relating to the use of their data. This paper highlights the unique challenges children face when it comes to online interferences with their decision-making, primarily due to their vulnerability, impressionability, the increased likelihood of disclosing personal information online, and their developmental capacities. These traits allow for practices such as hypernudging to be executed on them more accurately and with more serious consequences, specifically by potentially undermining their autonomy. We argue that children are autonomous agents in the making and thus require additional special protections to ensure that the development of their autonomy is safeguarded. This means that measures should be taken to prohibit most forms of hypernudging children and thus ensure that they are protected from this powerful technique of digital manipulation.
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Archival date: 2021-12-02
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