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Over 1,300 pictures of your child will be online by age 13, UK report suggests

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Children will have more than 1,000 pictures and videos of them online before they turn 13, according to a new report from the Children’s Commissioner for England.

And of course, as soon as they are old enough, children will carry on posting more by themselves on social media.

It is expected that children aged 11 to 16 post on social media an average of 26 times a day, which indicates that by the age of 18 they are likely to have posted 70,000 times.

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, told The Huffington Post that today children’s digital footprint starts in the womb, from the moment parents post their ultrasound scans on social media.

She also warned that children’s lives were being “datafied” on a huge scale, according to The Telegprah Newspaper, as their personal information is being routinely collected through social media updates on parents’ profiles, children’s smartphone and tablets, web-browsing and search engines, smart speakers and smart toys.

More data is also collected outside home through location tracking watches, school databases, classroom apps, biometric data in schools, retail loyalty schemes, travel passes, and medical records.

“Children are often shocked to learn just how information and data is collected about them as they grow up, from the information stored by new gadgets like Alexa to data held by their schools,” Anne Longfield told the newspaper.

“We need to make sure they can make informed choices about the data they are giving away and that their parents know who knows what about their kids.”

Longfield called the UK government “to strengthen data protection laws for young people and for smart toys to clearly label if they record or store information on children,” the newspaper stated.

An author of the report, Simone Vibert, senior policy analyst for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, said a child’s personal information should not be used in a way that could lead them to face disadvantages as adults.

“We urgently need to introduce safeguards to minimize risks like these, while allowing data to be used positively to improve public services and customer experiences,” he added.