KOALA Hero Toolkit: A New Approach to Inform Families of Mobile Datafication Risks

KOALA Hero Toolkit


Children today are deeply immersed in the online world, where their activities are routinely tracked, analysed, and monetised. This exposes them to various datafication risks, including harmful profiling, micro-targeting and behavioural engineering. Most existing measures focus on immediate online threats, rather than informing children about these implicit risks. In this paper, we present The KOALA Hero Toolkit, a hybrid toolkit designed to help children and parents jointly understand the datafication risks posed by their mobile apps. Through user studies involving 17 families we evaluate how the toolkit influenced families’ thought processes, perceptions and decision-making regarding mobile datafication risks. Our findings show that KOALA Hero supports families’ critical thinking and promotes family engagement. We identify future design recommendations for family support, featuring ideas such as integrating triggering moments and bonding moments in toolkit designs. This work provides timely inputs on global efforts aimed at addressing datafication risks and underscores the importance of strengthening legislative and policy enforcement of ethical data governance.

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