A campaigner's view: Jenny Afia
29 May 2019
In the first blog of a series by Headland Consultancy, Jenny Afia from Schillings talks about her role on the Children’s Commissioner’s Digital Task Force in which she campaigns for stronger protections for children online.
In this role, she has become a highly effective campaigner. In 2017 she rewrote Instagram’s terms and conditions on a single page so children could understand them, an idea which built up a head of steam in the media and Westminster, resulting in specific provisions being made in the GDPR for terms and conditions aimed at children.
Last year, she helped children’s charity 5Rights define what Age Appropriate Design should require big tech companies to do to better protect young users of their online platforms, after 5Rights had successfully made the case to add the requirement to the Data Protection Act.
Currently, Jenny is campaigning to ensure tech companies have a legal Duty of Care to protect children using their services and, in making the argument, is seeking to bring a lawsuit against social media or gaming firms for breach of the Human Rights Act; arguing that their addictive design deprives children of sleep and disrupts schoolwork and mental wellbeing – undermining the big tech defence that users have the free will to switch off their phones.
Although she doesn’t initially describe herself as such, Jenny ticks all the boxes of campaigner; someone who seeks out solutions to problems and takes action to turn ideas into practice. Here’s what she has to say on being an effective campaigner.
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