New report calls on tech industry to make changes to meet the needs of children

Date: 27th June 2018
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

A report examining the impact of the collection of personal data on children's social, mental and physical development calls on the technology industry to ensure services are designed to anticipate the rights and needs of children and young people.

The report, entitled 'Disrupted Childhood: The Cost of Persuasive Design', seeks to help policy makers, parents and children how persuasive design works and its how its impact on children's health and wellbeing can be addressed. It addresses the compulsive behaviours that children and young people can experience when they overuse their devices and how this can contribute to higher rates of anxiety, lower self esteem and increased social pressure.

To overcome the challenges associated with the use of persuasive design in technologies that are used by children and young people, 5Rights make several recommendations to both the tech industry and policy makers.
5Rights call on industry to:

  • Recognise compulsive use of technology as a public health issue;
  • Develop and undertake a Childhood Impact Assessment on existing and future products and services;
  • Provide services and products that prioritise children's 'best interests' over commercial considerations;
  • Listen to children and young people who are asking for more control and fairer treatment.

5Rights call on Government to:

  • Define compulsive use as an internet harm for children and provide advice and information;
  • Undertake a public health campaign that explains the dangers of compulsive design strategies and their effects on children;
  • Ensure frontline professionals such as teachers and social workers have appropriate training.


5Rights is a network comprising of lawyers, designers, engineers, child development experts, parents and children and young people who work to ensure that children's rights are upheld in a digital environment.