Best Interests and Targeting: Implementing the Privacy Act Review to advance children's rights
This paper explores the proposal of prohibiting targeting towards children unless it is in their best interests (Proposal 20.6 of the Privacy Act Review Report). It aims to contribute to the emerging discussion about how it could be implemented by unpacking what a children’s best interests assessment might look like when determining the appropriateness of ‘targeting’ specifically. ‘Targeting’ can act as a useful case study to frame discussions about what children’s best interests in the digital world may look like. It also encourages reflection about the role of targeting, best interests, privacy and digital regulation more broadly as part of a reform agenda necessary to advance children’s rights in Australia. This includes meeting our obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the overlapping frameworks and implementation measures in Australia, especially the Commonwealth Child Safety Framework and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
This paper has been developed by Reset.Tech Australia, the Australian Child Rights Task Force, and ChildFund Australia and builds on the expertise of 17 experts who participated in a policy roundtable event in September 2023. It was further enhanced through polling of 1,008 young people aged 15–17 in December 2023.