Viewing youth and mobile privacy through a digital policy literacy framework

Leslie Regan Shade, Tamara Shepherd

Abstract


Digital policy literacy is a critical element of digital literacy that emphasizes an understanding of communication policy processes, the political economy of media, and technological infrastructures. This paper introduces an analytical framework of digital policy literacy and applies it to young people’s everyday negotiations of mobile privacy, in order to argue for increased policy literacy around privacy and mobile phone communication. The framework is applied to the Canadian context, where a small study engaged undergraduate university students in focus groups around their uses of mobiles and knowledge of mobile privacy issues. Findings reveal that while our participants were aware of a variety of privacy threats in mobile communication, they were not likely to participate in policy processes that might protect their privacy rights. The paper concludes with a discussion of why young people may not be motivated to intervene in policy processes and how their digital policy literacy around mobile privacy is mitigated by the construction of youth as a lucrative target consumer market for mobile devices and services. 


Keywords


youth and social media; social media privacy; mobile phone privacy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v18i12.4807



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