Bee Secure keeps track of digital trends as they translate into risks for young people.  Photo: Maison Moderne

Bee Secure keeps track of digital trends as they translate into risks for young people.  Photo: Maison Moderne

Debora Plein, coordinator of Bee Secure, talks to Delano about the organisation and some of its findings.

Delano: What is Bee Secure?

Debora Plein: A governmental initiative, Bee Secure promotes the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology with a special focus on children and young people. We act in the following areas: awareness; individual counselling (8002-1234); reporting platform for illegal content; and trend monitoring.

Why are influencers a concern?

Not everything that glitters is gold: influencers typically earn money by posting content, so the products they endorse aren’t necessarily good quality. They may also showcase seemingly perfect lives and bodies, which can negatively influence some individuals. And some influencers are actual criminals: after establishing a community around, e.g., cryptocurrencies, and providing free investment advice, they disappear with their subscribers’ money.

What other risks are rising in relevance?

When agreeing to the terms and conditions of a platform, users might not know what personal data is being collected, who can access it and the potential consequences of a data breach. Users are also increasingly aware of the involvement of artificial intelligence in content generation (and fake profiles, grooming, and sextortion). Parents also see excessive screen time as the number one risk for their children and express concerns about potentially harmful (violent or sexually explicit) content.