Data protection awareness for young people through influencer collaborations

Data protection awareness for young people through influencer collaborations

The My Data Secured – raising youth awareness of their EU-ratified rights project helped 14 to 21-year-olds and youth workers to keep their data secure.

The project was carried out with support from the Europe Information department by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland. We have provided information about data protection, engaged young people in discussion, especially on social media, and presented important messages through influencer collabrations.

Chatting on Instagram

Why is your data valuable? How can you protect it? What rights does the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) offer us all? The main channel of communication during our project has been TIEKE’s Instagram, where we have discussed these and other topics.

We shot videos of our discussions with young people regarding data protection in June 2021, and Instagram has been a good platform for sharing them. During the pandemic, the best way to get in touch with 14 to 21 year-olds is on social media, where content can also be targeted at certain age groups through advertising.

Influencers involved

The My Data Secured project also involved influencer cooperation, with young people well known on social media sending messages important to the project to their networks. The young influencers explained, as part of our campaign, how rights protecting your privacy and protecting their own data concerned them. Their thoughts were especially insightful because they were used to sharing information on social media to their large following. This has made them evauate the boundaries of their privacy and what they can do in hindsight about the visibility of their data and postings.

Being aware of your boundaries

During the first week of October, Saara Strum (@saaradaniela_) discussed datasecurity on her Instagram accunt. She remarked that although she publishes plenty of information about herself to her followers, she does not want to reveal her location and address. In our interview videos, we have also asked young people what information they would not want to reveal to online services. This question, based on the number of times the videos have been viewed, has been an interesting topic. Defining the boundaries of your privacy is a good way to understand data protection issues more broadly.

True or false

As part of our campaign, Saara held a true-or-false quiz in her Instagram stories on statements regarding data protection and rights provided by the General Data Protected Regulation. The quiz included a statement that you can ask your school to delete you details, such as grades. This is not true: although GDPR enables data subjects to request that their data be deleted, this does not apply if data is stored to fulfill a legal obligation, as is the case with schools.

The project also included a podcast to people working with young people. Follow the TIEKE Instagram (@tiekery) to keep up-to-date on further developments! Our project website also has a Finnish-language material bank on data protection that young people should find interesting.

The author works for TIEKE as a project expert.

“During the pandemic, the best way to get in touch with young people has been on social media.”

Mikko Eloholma, TIEKE

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