1st Edition

Child Protection and Safeguarding Technologies Appropriate or Excessive ‘Solutions’ to Social Problems?

By Maggie Brennan, Andy Phippen Copyright 2020
    100 Pages
    by Routledge

    100 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores, through a children’s rights-based perspective, the emergence of a safeguarding dystopia in child online protection that has emerged from a tension between an over-reliance in technical solutions and a lack of understanding around code and algorithm capabilities. The text argues that a safeguarding dystopia results in docile children, rather than safe ones, and that we should stop seeing technology as the sole solution to online safeguarding.

    The reader will, through reading this book, gain a deeper understanding of the current policy arena in online safeguarding, what causes children to beocme upset online, and the doomed nature of safeguarding solutions. The book also features a detailed analysis of issues surrounding content filtering, access monitoring, surveillance, image recognition, and tracking.

    This book is aimed at legal practitioners, law students, and those interested in child safeguarding and technology.

    Chapter 1 – Doing More to Safeguarding Children Online

    Chapter 2 – The Role of Online Technology in Young People’s Lives: Activities and Concerns

    Chapter 3 – Safeguarding Children by Prohibiting Access

    Chapter 4– Further Progress in Technological Intervention: Knowing Everything, Always

    Chapter 5 – Algorithmic Approaches to Tackling Online Safeguarding

    Chapter 6 – Safety at the Expense of Liberty?


    Andy Phippen is a Professor of Social Responsibility in Information Technology at the University of Plymouth. He has specialised in the use of ICTs in social contexts for almost 20 years, carrying out a large amount of grassroots research on issues such as privacy and data protection, and internet safety and contemporary social concerns like sexting, peer abuse, and the impact of digital technology on wellbeing. He has presented written and oral evidence to parliamentary inquiries related to the use of ICTs in society, is widely published in the area, and is a frequent media commentator on these issues.

    Maggie Brennan is a research psychologist, based at the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork.