• OWLS

  • Wise words on Privacy

Find out who's going to get your information

Key Messages

  • It's important to know who's going to get your information - then you'll know what's happening and you can choose what you want to do
  • Don't worry that the statements are hard to read and boring - just skip to the bit that talks about who's going to get your information (at least for now!)
  • Talk to someone older if you need help - they can help you check for what you need.
  • The site or app itself will collect information about you, and will probably keep it for a long time, maybe for ever

Illustrating the topic

    Find some 'privacy statements' or 'terms and conditions' from children's favourite gaming sites, education sites or social networking sites, and put them up on the walls. Use highlighter pens to mark the bits where it talks about who's going to get information you post.

    Examples of sites could include things like Club Penguin, Disney, sports game sites, Facebook, educational sites that you recommend for the students etc.

    Story: Jee Wun was really enjoying her new laptop. She had joined heaps of clubs and online gaming sites - so many that she didn't even remember some of them. Each time she joined one she gave out all the personal information they asked for, after all she wanted to play their game. She gave her mother's email address when they asked for parent permission. When her mother started getting emails asking her to buy or look at things she didn't want from the city they lived in she realised she had no idea who had her information any more.

Discussion Questions

  • Where do you find privacy statements or terms and conditions on a website? (should be a link from the sign-up box, also usually in footer at the bottom of the web page)
  • Do you or your family read the terms and conditions before signing up to play games etc?If not, why not? Lots of people don't read the privacy statements, but why do you think it would be a good idea to have a look?
  • How can you find the information you need the most? (learning to read privacy statements selectively)
  • What can you do if you don't understand what the statement says?
  • Why might a website want to pass on your information to other people? (making money from selling client lists; providing products and services)
  • If the privacy statement changes, would you expect to be told?


  • Find out whether the school has a privacy statement;
    • If it doesn't, then get the students to write one for the school
    • If it does, get the students to rewrite it in their own words
    • To do this activity, students will need to find out the information to go in the privacy statement (see "resources" below for a list of types of information)
  • As a homework exercise ask students to type their names in a Search Engine to find out how many results show.Discuss what surprised them.