Data Mining in the Sandbox: Children’s Safety Online

Exploring the tension between products that make children’s lives better, and the collection of data that goes in the process.

In the last 10 years, communication and social interaction have increasingly moved online, with an array of social media platforms and online services offering services and solutions that are collecting user data systematically. Many of these services are used by children, raising challenging questions around privacy and integrity of minors and whether they are able to give informed consent to the collection of their data. Is there a tension between offering services that children want, and that can make their lives easier, while collecting their data in the process?

Featuring inspiring speakers, plenary panels, interactive sessions and participation of members of the Swedish Royal Family, this Action Lab explored if and how children’s rights can be protected in the digital marketplace and still allow for new and innovative business models?

Confirmed Speakers

Mr Ruben Brunsveld

Senior Advisor
at Enact Sustainable Strategies

Ruben has a background in human rights, EU diplomacy, and responsible business. He is a sought-after leader of stakeholder dialogues, round tables and international conferences. During his career he has advised ministers; coached ambassadors and interviewed captains of industry in countries such as India, China, Zambia, Estonia and Sweden. He describes himself as a “Colombian born – Indonesian bred – Dutchman with a Swedish passport” and uses his international background to build bridges and facilitate discussions between people with different backgrounds.

Prof. Dr. Veronica Barassi

Professor in Media and Communications Studies at the University of St. Gallen

Veronica is an anthropologist, Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Chair of Media and Culture in the Institute of Media and Communication Management. Veronica campaigns and writes about the impact of data technologies and AI on human rights and democracy. She also consults for companies working on ‘privacy by design’ and non-profit organizations worldwide. Veronica is the author of Activism on the Web: Everyday Struggles against Digital Capitalism (Routledge, 2015) and has over the last three years investigated the impact of children’s data traces on their civic rights. Her most recent book Child | Data | Citizen: How Tech Companies are Profiling Us from before Birth will be published by MIT Press in December 2020. Her new research project focuses on the human rights implications of systemic errors, algorithmic bias and data inaccuracies.

Mr Dylan Collins

Chief Executive Officer at SuperAwesome

Dylan is an experienced digital media entrepreneur, focusing on games, kids’ entertainment and the technology which underpins them. He is co-founder and CEO of SuperAwesome, the #1 kid-safe brand engagement platform that builds infrastructure to manage and use the data of children on the internet. Previously, Dylan co-founded the gaming software start-up DemonWare that became a leading online games technology firm in the console games market, later sold to Activision Blizzard. Dylan went on to found Jolt Online Gaming which became one of the pioneering social games publishers in Europe, later sold to GameStop. Dylan remains an active investor and advisor across both kids’ media and technology companies.

Mr Martyn Farrows

Chief Operating Officer at SoapBox Labs

Martyn is Chief Operating Officer at SoapBox Labs. SoapBox Labs are the global leader in speech technology for children – powering safe, age appropriate and immersive play & learning experiences using voice.  Martyn has been a member of the Irish Government’s Data Forum since its inception in June 2015. He holds a Ph.D in European politics and in the early part of his career worked for the the European Commission and European Parliament. He is an experienced public speaker on the future use of technology/AI and children, with a particular interest in privacy and education.

Prof. Dr. Eva Lievens

Professor of Law & Technology at Ghent University

Eva is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law & Criminology of Ghent University where she leads the research group Law & Technology. Eva’s research relates to the legal impact of the design and deployment of technology in today’s society, human and children’s rights in the digital environment, and the use of alternative regulatory instruments, such as self- and co-regulation to regulate tech phenomena. Together with Ingrida Milkaite, Eva was awarded the Stefano Rodotà Award by the Council of Europe for their research into the child’s right to privacy and data protection in the digital age.

Ms Ingrida Milkaite

PhD researcher, Law & Technology research group, Ghent University

Ingrida is working on the research project ‘A children’s rights perspective on privacy and data protection in the digital age’. This project monitors the implementation of the EU GDPR in relation to children and their rights. Ingrida is a member of the Human Rights Centre at the Faculty of Law and Criminology at Ghent University, PIXLES (Privacy, Information Exchange, Law Enforcement and Surveillance) and the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).

Ms Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion

Director of Strategy at Privacy International (PI)

Alexandrine manages and oversees the development and delivery of PI’s strategic portfolio aimed at ensuring that innovative solutions serve individuals and communities, protecting their dignity rather than state power and corporate interest. The portfolio explores issues of digital identity, protecting communities at risk online, the digitisation of access to economic, social and cultural rights, and the use of data and technology in immigration enforcement control and border management. Previously, Alexandrine was engaged in research and advocacy on issues such as human rights, security, irregular migration and gender. Alexandrine holds a MSc in Conflict, Security and Development from the University of Birmingham, an LLM in International Law from the University of Westminster and BA in Law with International Relations from Oxford Brookes University.

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About Global Child Forum

Founded in 2009 by the Swedish Royal Family, Global Child Forum is a leading forum for children’s rights and business dedicated to innovative thinking, knowledge-sharing and networking. We believe in the power and responsibility of business, working in partnership with all parts of society, to create a prosperous, sustainable and just society for the world’s children. In addition to our forums, Global Child Forum delivers research perspectives, best practices and risk assessment tools designed to unlock opportunities for business to integrate children’s rights into their operations and communities. For more information, please visit:

Click here to read more about our Digital ActionLab series 2020.