Young People's 'Disruptive' Use of Technology and the Responsibility of the ICT Sector

Speaker: Prof Andy Phippen # Business School, University of Plymouth

20th Jun 2011

15:30 - 17:00

Seminar Room 1.06, Old Surgeons' Hall, High School Yards

This seminar has been rescheduled from 23rd May 2011.


Criticism of companies such as Google, for collecting unsecured wireless data without permission, and Facebook, for its privacy abuses, by media and policy makers suggest that the IT sector is not taking responsibility for the social impact of its innovations. While it is clear that the impact of such abuses can be severe, when innovation is released into the public domain, one might argue that it is impossible to predict all of the ways in which it will be adopted, or adapted. In his presentation Professor Phippen will consider the social implications of technology by exploring his work with children and young people, studying how they adopt new technologies and use them in unpredictable and 'disruptive' ways.

He will reflect upon approaches used by technologist, educators and policy makers to balance empowerment and protection related to young people's use of technology and argue that while due diligence is a fundamental aspect of professional practice, responsibility does not lie solely with the provider. He will suggest that a greater focus should be placed on the individual, or individual's guardians, and demonstrate that digital literacy and public education are the major problems policy makers should be facing up to.

For further information about accessibility please contact Angela McEwan on 0131 650 9113 or email