No one knows how to keep personal information private online

By Wong Yat-hei

A study by Hong Kong Baptist University has found that students, teachers and parents don't know how to handle students' privacy

By Wong Yat-hei |

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South Korean students' every click can be monitored by tracking apps such as Smart Sheriff.

Students, parents and teachers don't know how to protect students' personal information, says a privacy watchdog. The announcement was made yesterday after South Korea had passed a law last month requiring phone companies to have an app on new smartphones for under 19s that allows their parents to see what they are doing.

Hong Kong Baptist University did a study with students, parents, teachers and the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD). The study says parents and teachers could be doing more to manage young people's privacy.

The findings showed students are worried about parents and teachers looking at their phones and social media accounts.

But parents believe that they should have the right to violate their children's privacy in certain situations. And schools want to be able to monitor certain students' social media accounts.

Susanna Pang Bik-tsui, head of corporate communication for the PCPD, suggested parents and children should talk more about how to manage personal data. "It is hard to pinpoint an age when parents should no longer interfere with their children using social media. It is up to parents and children to compromise what they want to do to protect children's privacy," she says.

The study also showed that most students knew how to protect their privacy when dealing with friends, but they didn't know what to do when their privacy was violated.

The PCPD said privacy protection and related issues could be added to the curriculum to help students learn to protect their personal data.