Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment: Risks, Opportunities, and Responsibilities


  • Denise Amram


  • Ruggero Pensa
  • Jordi Alba-Canals
  • Juan Martínez
  • Katharina Kaesling

Organisation: LIDER Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Room: Online 2

Timing: 08:45 - 10:00 on 28 January 2021

IoT services develop new forms of free expression, organisation and association, providing unprecedented access to information and ideas, addressing political, economic, and social trends.
This panel focuses on children as vulnerable users. Access to IoT contributes to the promotion of children’s well-being (essential for education purposes during the pandemia), but it also intensifies existing inequalities (digital divide for cultural and economic differences) and risks (fake news, cyberbulling, monitoring and profiling AI-based toys & applications, sexting, grooming).

Data protection and privacy-preserving shall be boosted in terms of i) technical safety for service providers&developers, ii) parents, caregivers, institutions (starting from Schools) awareness and responsibilities, iii) skills, access, and education for children, iv) inclusion and equality. The Panel promotes a roadmap for the best interests of the child in the IoT, discussing best practices, measures to enhance rights and mitigate risks in the digital environment.

• Enhancing equal access to information society: from education needs to a cultural evolution, boosting inclusion and non-discrimination.
• Facing digital divide and promoting awareness for risks & opportunities in the information society: best interests of the child in the IoT.
• Enhancing privacy and data protection within social networks, AI-based toys, IoT App: boundaries for parental responsibilities, institutions, and services’ providers and developers.
• Digital skills and competence for new educational and learning path.


Denise Amram

LIDER Lab - DIRPOLIS Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (IT)

Dr. Denise Amram is affiliate researcher at LIDER Lab - DIRPOLIS Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Italy), where she serves as DPO. Coordinator of the Permanent Observatory on Personal Injury Damages and ETHOS, she participates to several H2020 research projects, also as ethical-legal advisor. Adjunct lecturer in Private and Comparative Private Law, she enriched her experience undertaking teaching/research activities both in Italy and abroad, including Université Panthéon-Assas, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Utrecht University, University College Dublin, University of Malta, Columbia Law School. She authored ~100 publications including a book. Interests: fundamental rights protection in the fields of data protection law, family law, tort liability.


Ruggero Pensa

University of Turin (IT)

Ruggero G. Pensa received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from INSA, Lyon, France, in 2006. Currently, he is Associate Professor with the University of Turin, Italy. His main research interests include machine learning, privacy and data protection, and social network analysis. He co-leaded several research projects concerning the development of educational tools to improve childrens' awareness on privacy issues in social media. He served in the program committee of many international conferences on machine learning, and is member of the editorial board of the Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery Journal and the Machine Learning journal.

Jordi Alba-Canals

Lighthouse - DIG (US)

Jordi Alba-Canals, PhD. is the Chief Scientific Officer at Lighthouse -DIG, Senior Research Scientist at Barcelona Children's Hospital, and Affiliate Researcher at Tufts U.
After years in Academia in Spain, Netherlands, and the US, He joined the talented team at LIGHTHOUSE-DIG and to empower institutions to succeed to disrupt their technological-based business model through applied research. His work topic is related to designing cloud-based robotic systems compliant with human rights and fulfil human needs in terms of authority, harm, and fairness. How we can guarantee data protection and privacy, and how we can drive behavior change through empathic technology without too much deception.

Juan Martínez

University of Valencia (ES)

PhD in Public Law (University of Valencia). The topic of his doctoral thesis was “Freedom of speech and Children protection in the Media. A juridical approach”.
Lecturer in Administrative and Media Law. University of Valencia (Valencia, Spain).
His research focuses on the regulation of the Media and the audiovisual content on the Internet. He has paid particular attention to the protection of minors in the audiovisual landscape.
He is member of the advisory Board of iCmedia (one of the biggest association of Media consumers in Spain).

Katharina Kaesling

University of Bonn (DE)

Dr. Katharina Kaesling is Research Coordinator at the Käte Hamburger Center “Law as Culture”, University of Bonn, Germany. She concentrates her scholarship on digital transformation in the areas of children’s rights and New Media as well as (intellectual) property in the 21st century. Her research profile encompasses the legal fields of family law, data protection law, platform regulation, intellectual property and property law, including international and comparative law perspectives.