Digital Policy Literacy

On April 26, 2012

Leslie Regan Shade and Tamara Shepherd. (2013, December). “Youth and Mobile Privacy: Applying a Model of Digital Policy Literacy.” First Monday 18(12).

Digital policy literacy is a critical element of digital literacy that emphasizes an understanding of communication policy processes, the political economy of media, and technological infrastructures. This paper introduces an analytical framework of digital policy literacy and illustrates it with examples of young people’s everyday negotiations of mobile privacy, in order to argue for increased policy literacy around privacy and mobile phone communication. The framework is applied to the Canadian context, where a small pilot study engaged 14 undergraduate university students in focus groups about their uses of mobiles and knowledge of mobile privacy issues. Preliminary findings show that while our participants were aware of a variety of privacy threats in mobile communication, they were not likely to participate in policy processes that might protect their privacy rights. The paper concludes with a discussion of why young people may not be motivated to intervene in policy processes and how their digital policy literacy around mobile privacy is mitigated by the construction of youth as a lucrative target consumer market for mobile devices and services.

Leslie Regan Shade and Tamara Shepherd, “Youth and Mobile Privacy: Applying a Model of Digital Policy Literacy,” Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, Arlington, VA, September 27-29, 2013.
Poster designed by Michelle Gay:  

Leslie Regan Shade (2012). Towards a Model of Digital Policy Literacy (paper/pdf)
Proceedings of the 2012 iConference, Toronto, February 7-10, 2012: 459-461.

Poster designed by Antonia Hernandez:
Towards a Model of Digital Policy Literacy (poster/pdf)

In this poster, a model of digital policy literacy is described. The model is designed to serve as an intervention expanding the core elements of media and digital literacy to encompass digital policy as a key literacy attribute. It has been created as a key element of a program of research that examines how young people engage in participatory digital culture, and their knowledge of specific digital policy issues, such as copyright and privacy.