Sharenthood—How the Digital Tech Habits of Parents, Teachers, and Other Trusted Adults Harm Kids & Teens

  • Starts: 3:45 pm on Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Ends: 5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The stork has flown the coop. Babies born today have their arrival predicted by fertility apps, not birds or even physicians. From womb to dorm, children and teens exist in a nest of digital technologies that collect and use vast amounts of their private data. There has been a lot of handwringing over how to fix the problems caused by the poor choices kids sometimes make with these technologies. Sexting. Cyber-bullying. Posting offensive memes to an ostensibly private Facebook group and having their admissions to Harvard revoked. OMG! WTF?

UNH Professor Leah Plunkett’s new book, Sharenthood (MIT Press, forthcoming Fall 2019), is not about what kids do online. It’s about an over-looked set of tech troublemakers: grown-ups. Parents, teachers, and other adult caregivers regularly make decisions about the privacy of kids’ digital data that jeopardize kids’ current and future opportunities, as well as the life-stage of childhood itself.

In this Cyber Alliance talk, Prof. Plunkett will discuss the questions raised by Sharenthood. The book, written for a general audience, unpacks the everyday, innocent mistakes adults make with kids’ private data, the risks that result, and the legal myths that enable this so-called “sharenting.” Through an accessible “law & ordinary” approach, it guides readers through an understanding of how the legal system today enables sharenting. The book concludes with a “thought compass” of four principles to help us chart a different course: play, forget, connect, and respect.

There will be time for casual conversation and light refreshments before and after the presentation. Please RSVP to
Seminar Room, Hariri Institute for Computing, 111 Cummington Mall