On Monday, 23rd of January, PrivCom introduced “Privacy Hour for Children” as part of the Data Privacy Week (DPW) 2023 festivities. During “Privacy Hour for Children”, primary school children and their teachers engaged in one hour dedicated to raising awareness of data privacy, online safety, and digital identities. Student activities included coloring and naming PrivCom’s new turtle mascot. PrivCom partnered with KPMG to provide a pizza party for the winning class of the “Name the PrivCom Turtle" activity. The public was invited to participate by poll.
This blog was written to explain why we chose a turtle, how a turtle's shell is a metaphor for safety and protection for young people, and the ways that turtles and humans prioritize protecting their offspring from predators. The school and year level of the winning turtle name submission is revealed at the end of the reading!
Why did PrivCom choose a turtle as the mascot?
Turtles are an integral part of Bermuda’s fauna. Baby turtles – or hatchlings – start as eggs that are laid in nests on beaches around the world and juvenile green turtles grow up in Bermuda’s nearshore waters. Turtles are a protected species of marine reptiles, especially as, sadly, turtles are becoming less and less common here due to the loss of their natural habitat.
The turtle is a powerful metaphor for data privacy as it has an extra layer of protection: the shell.
Consider that a turtle has a shell that protects it from external dangers both in the sea and on land and conceals its body: it is a safe space where the turtle may retreat when afraid or in jeopardy.
In the same way, privacy is like a shell that covers and protects our personal information, including our thoughts, and emotions. Just as a turtle only comes out of its shell when it feels safe, individuals should only share personal information when they feel confident that it will be kept secure and used responsibly.
A turtle can be vulnerable if its shell is cracked or damaged. Personal information can also be vulnerable if privacy is breached, which can lead to unwanted consequences, such as identity theft, financial fraud, or even emotional harm.
Therefore, it's important to protect privacy just as a turtle protects its shell. This may involve being careful about what information is shared, understanding who has access to personal information, and taking steps to secure it. By taking steps to protect privacy, individuals can feel safe and secure, just like a turtle in its shell.
Throughout history, the turtle has been an important symbol across different societies and mythologies worldwide. It can be seen as a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, sturdiness, and longevity. It is also respected for its ability to explore on its own.
Here’s a fun fact about turtles: Mother turtles find a safe place to hatch their eggs, but they leave the eggs before they hatch, hoping that the sacrifice will keep the hatchlings safe, secure, and protected from predators. Without the mother turtle around, the hatchlings learn to depend on each other and survive the wilderness independently. Although it doesn’t sound ideal, it’s the circle of life for our turtle friends.
Human parents also make sacrifices to protect children from danger in the physical world but may not realize the full range of predators that exist in the cyber world, such as pop-up videos with inappropriate graphics, videos, and scary mature content that a child's brain is not likely equipped to manage. Many parents allow their children to use the internet to learn how to use modern technology and to entertain themselves but without support and guidance, the young people are left to develop creative resilience on their own to protect themselves online.
Often, the amount of guidance and protection a parent gives to the child is based on the values of the household and how wise, strong, and independent the parent believes the young person would be while navigating the internet on their own. Unlike the turtle mother that abandons her young to protect them from predators, human parents may allow their children to wander online without fully realizing the types of protection they need to survive the cyber world.
When we consider this view of how turtles and humans protect their young, and through positive, preventative, and proactive actions, data privacy can be seen as a metaphorical turtle shell that protects children online. Parents can teach their children to be like baby turtles by teaching them to turn to safety - someone they trust - when they feel threatened by a “predator”, on or offline as a turtle naturally retreats into its shell when it feels afraid or unsafe. Just like turtles, we all need the protective shell of data privacy, and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) 2016 does exactly that!
PrivCom would like to congratulate the P1 Bassett class at Heron Bay Primary School!!! We have chosen the name "Isla" for our mascot, which makes the class the winners of the “Name the PrivCom Turtle” competition. Well done for making history and we hope that P1 Bassett enjoys the pizza party sponsored by PrivCom's "Privacy Hour" partner, KPMG.
And…more news! “Isla” has a twin brother, “Islay”, so stay tuned for privacy-related adventures and activities to help children learn about information privacy, Bermuda’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), and ways to protect themselves while playing, learning, and exploring online.
Do you want to learn more about data privacy, PIPA, and how it relates to and impacts individuals, as well as businesses and other entities in Bermuda? Review our Downloadable Guidance, SME Hub or book your place on one of our free training courses in 2023. Teachers and schools that would like PrivCom to host a lesson or school assembly or to present at a teachers' development day or PTA meeting can book here.
To reach out to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, please visit our Contact Us
For more information about PrivCom, go to Press Background | PrivComBermuda (privacy.bm)