Children’s Online Privacy Panel


Kamala Harris, Jim Steyer & Mandeep Singh Dhillon Weigh In on Online Privacy

California Attorney General Kamala Harris had just managed to successfully unnerve a group of about 100 parents and educators with this online exchange between two 16-year-olds. Those in the crowd, which had gathered Monday night at the Center For Early Education for a panel on children's online privacy, muttered worriedly among themselves as they tried to decipher the instant message language.

After explaining the first few acronyms ("I don't know," "By the way," and "Oh my god, what the f**k" were just some of the phrases), she zeroed in on the final two: "Down low" and "Not a lot of people know that."

Harris challenged the audience to "imagine that phrase, 'not a lot of people know that,' in a lot of different contexts" -- a scary thought exercise. As parents, she continued, "we don't want to think that there's a word -- an acronym -- for that expression." But there is, and it could hide everything from teen romances to cyber-bullying to something much worse.

Harris addressed the topic of Internet privacy with Jim Steyer, founder of the online advocacy group Common Sense Media, and Mandeep Singh Dhillon, inventor of Togetherville, a social network for children and parents. Huffington Post senior editor Willow Bay moderated the panel, and Common Sense Media hosted the event.

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