HCIL BBL Speaker Series: Connecting Contexts: Designing Privacy and Security Resources to Teach Core Concepts to Children and Families

Event Start Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 12:30 pm

Event End Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 1:30 pm

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom

Dr. Jessica Vitak

Dr. Jessica Vitak, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

As smartphones, tablets, and related technologies have become commonplace, children are becoming adept at navigating these devices long before they enter school. At the same time, most conversations about how data privacy and security are deferred until children are in middle and high school, if not older. In this talk, I’ll walk through two of my team’s research projects focused on helping children and families develop digital literacy, with a focus on developing their understanding of privacy and security risks and how to protect their data online. I’ll describe ongoing design work with children to develop tools that are both engaging and educational. And I’ll highlight the important role that libraries, educators, and parents play in teaching and reinforcing core privacy and security concepts.

Jessica Vitak is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and Director of the HCIL. Her research evaluates the privacy and ethical implications of big data, the internet of things, and other “smart” technologies. She seeks to understand how privacy concerns play a role in technology adoption and use, and she develops tools and resources to help children and adults make more informed decisions when using technology and sharing sensitive data. For more information, see

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