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Safer Internet Day - Together For A Better Internet

Published on 04/02/19

The aim of Safer Internet Day 2019 is to “inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively” and this year, the topic of the event is focusing on “how consent works in an online context’ especially in relation to young people. 

The Safer Internet Day campaign this year specifically encourages young people to explore how they ask, give and receive consent online; within their friendships and relationships, when taking and sharing images and how they manage their privacy and data. 

What Is Online Consent? 

With the arrival of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018 giving and receiving consent online and the usage of personal data has never been more important or more in the spotlight. Many companies have been in trouble with the ICO for not protecting and storing data correctly, or for using it without the owner’s specific consent meaning it’s vital that children and young people grow up understanding how, where and where their data has been used and when it’s being used without their consent. 

Consent is defined within the GDPR as being ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. 

In order to be freely given, “it must be given on a voluntary basis”. This means that the data subject must have a real, genuine choice in the matter of consenting and signing up to something - if there is any element of inappropriate pressure or influence, then this consent can be rendered invalid. 

For consent to be “informed and specific” the individual must be made aware of who is looking after their data, what information will be processed and how it will be used. They also need to have an easy, clear option to withdraw their consent and unsubscribe, whenever they want to, and they also have the ‘right to be forgotten’ which means that they can ask a company or organisation to remove any record of them and erase them from their systems. 

The consent must be also be “unambiguous” which means that the data subject knows exactly what they are signing up and consenting to. They now have to opt in rather than opt out, which means that companies can no longer assume an ‘automatic opt in’ to their marketing or assume that customers are happy for their data to be used in certain ways. Companies can also no longer have pre-ticked consent boxes on forms - individuals need to physically choose to opt in to receive communications or to share their data with a company, game or website. 

Finally, it is important to note that to give consent, the data subject must be aged 13 or older. Prior to this age, it would be the data subject's parent who would need to give consent on their behalf. 

How have we helped our Schools and Trusts stay safe with regards to consent, data and privacy on their websites?

Here at e4education, we have done a lot of work surrounding the introduction of GDPR to help the Schools and Trusts that we work with ensure their website is GDPR compliant and their data is secure. We have introduced valid SSL certificates for all websites and given our customers the option to add in privacy policies and cookie policies to their websites, and update these as required. We’ve also ensured there is full encryption on all of our databases and we continue to work closely in line with the GDPR regulations to ensure our platforms are fully-up-to-date and compliant. 

How will we be supporting Safer Internet Day 2019? 

We signed up as a Supporter with the UK Safer Internet Centre and pledged to “write blog posts related to staying safe on the Internet, as well as engaging with our customers (Schools and Trusts) on social media to help highlight their participation in the event.” 

Blog Posts on Staying Safe

As well as this post, we also wrote a post last year for safer Internet Day 2018, which was about creative ways to use the Internet in a safe, responsible and positive manner - you can read the post and download the resources for this here.

Twitter Takeover

We’ll be manning our Twitter account all day on Tuesday 5th February to retweet and highlight the brilliant things that our wonderful customers are doing to promote and engage with Safer Internet Day 2019. We’ll try and share as many messages as possible from monitoring our feed but if you do want us to share something in particular, please do tag us in your tweets at @e4education 

How Can Your School or Trust support Safer Internet Day 2019?

There are many helpful resources and education packs on the Safer Internet Day website which can help when disseminating the information to your students and in your lessons  and you can engage on social media throughout the day by using the hashtags #OurInternetOurChoice and #SaferInternetDay2019

Another way of highlighting your event is to share your activities on social media. Just make sure, if you’e using any photos of the day, that you have appropriate permissions from parents/carers and students before posting them online and that you are following any communications policies that you have in place. And don’t forget to tag us or let us know, we’d love to see what you get up to! 

Katie Sixsmith

Katie is our Marketing & Communications Executive and joined e4education in November 2015. She has a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the Open University and a Project Fundamentals Qualification from the Oxford College of Leadership and Management.

She is currently studying for her Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing with the Oxford College of Marketing.