CHAITok: A Proof-of-Concept System Supporting Children's Sense of Data Autonomy on Social Media



Social media has become a primary source of entertainment and education for children globally. While much attention has been given to children’s online well-being, a pressing concern often goes unnoticed: the pervasive data harvesting underlying social media and its manipulative impact on undermining children’s autonomy. In this paper, we present CHAITok, an Android mobile application designed to enhance children’s sense of autonomy over their data on social media. Through 27 user study sessions with 109 children aged 10–13, we offer insights into the current lack of data autonomy among children regarding their online information, and how we can foster children’s sense of data autonomy through a socio-technical journey. Our findings inspire design recommendations to respect children’s values, support children’s evolving autonomy, and design for children’s digital rights. We emphasize data autonomy as a fundamental right for children, call for further research, design innovation, and policy changes on this critical issue.

In Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
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