Cyber Security Centre and Law School join forces for interdisciplinary workshop

Child using iPad

On Wednesday 17 February 2021, Kent Law School and Kent Cyber Security Educational Centre (KeCSEC), hosted a virtual workshop entitled ‘Children’s Social Media Sites: Can they meet the ICO Age Appropriate Design Code of Practice?’

Over the past year children, youths and teens have been living a large portion of their lives online to learn and to socialise, especially using social media sites to meet old friends and make new ones. Yet, these cyber spaces are not always safe spaces.

At this joint event, Professor Jane Reeves – Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Child Protection (University of Kent) – gave a presentation on ‘Children and Grooming; innovative pedagogical approaches in preventative education’. Four Kent Law School and School of Computing Master’s students, who have critically assessed compliance of children’s social media apps to the 2020 ICO Age Appropriate Design Code of Practice, also shared the results of their preliminary exploratory studies.

Kent students with an interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of online child protection were invited to attend and ask questions.

The workshop is the first in a series of planned, co-organised events for students, exploring different aspects of cyber security, from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Dr Pamela White, Lecturer in Medical Law at Kent Law School said: “The interdisciplinary workshop provided the perfect opportunity for PGT students from Kent Law School and School of Computing to share their legal, policy and data protection research findings on the important topic of making the online world safe for children and youths.”

Dr Virginia Franqueira, Lecturer in Cyber Security at the School of Computing and Director of KeCSEC said: “The workshop was really interesting and insightful. Professor Reeves provided an overview of the simulation-based approach adopted by The Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent for training and awareness of child abuse and exploitation online. Students delved into different criteria of the ICO code of practice focusing on a specific app. Due to its success, the workshop will likely be run again for a wider audience.”

KeCSEC is part of the newly established Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS), a University of Kent-wide hub promoting interdisciplinary research and educational activities in cyber security. Current participating schools include the School of Computing, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, School of Psychology, School of Politics and International Relations, Kent Law School, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social research, and Kent Business School. More information about iCSS can be found here: