Digitalisation transforms the teaching of consumer and data protection issues in schools

For use by teachers, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman (DPO) have drafted new support material and assignments related to the digital skills of consumers, the related purchase path and the handling of personal data. The production of this material is connected to the national Media Literacy Week to be held between 6 and 12 February 2017, in which the FCCA and the DPO will participate.

The support material for teachers deals with digital transactions. Thanks to digitalisation and networking, consumers can participate more actively in producing, offering and consuming products and services. Although neither the online purchase path nor consumer protection differ from the traditional approach, the rules familiar from such an approach do not necessarily work in the platform and sharing economy. The EU´s data protection regulation to be applied next year will strengthen registered rights in the digital world.

Familiarising pupils with purchase paths

The material presents the special characteristics of digitalisation, which will transform the teaching of consumer and data protection issues in schools. Media, technology and economics lessons, as well as knowledge of consumer and registered rights and responsibilities, will provide new kinds of consumer digital competencies. The material includes an overall description based on the transaction path, which makes planning easier when, for example, arranging the phenomenon-based teaching of consumer issues; while paying due attention to personal data.

The section of the material dealing with personal data was prepared in the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. The rest of the material was drawn up by the FCCA, whose duties include the promotion of consumer education.

The material also includes an assignment module, through which pupils are familiarised with the various steps of the online purchasing process. The transaction path and its stages presented in the support material for teachers are used as a teaching aid. The aim is to encourage pupils to consider how their personal purchase paths are formed, with whom and when they engage in commerce, and for whom personal data should be provided andhow such data should be handled.

The new materials (in Finnish and in Swedish) are available on the website of the FCCA:

More information:
Media Literacy Week