Looking for Juan Retails CANVAS’ Children’s Books on Data Privacy and Fake News

Monday, January 11, 2021

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have practically been living our lives online, everything is done virtually. As we navigate the worldwide web, are we all aware of the dangers we’re exposed to? Can we tell real from fake news? Do we all know that we must protect our personal information? 

Looking for Juan, a Filipino online store for books and art-infused gifts, carries two new releases from the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS): Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy and #YouThink: Fight Fake News. 

While both books are designed to empower children and teens as they spend many of their hours online, I think the adults have a lot to learn from them as well. By flipping through the pages, the grown-ups can also avoid falling prey to internet deception.

Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy is a 60-page activity book that introduces the concept of personal data to children ages 6 to 12 and teaches them how to protect themselves. It breaks down in child-friendly language how social media and online gaming platforms work when they sign up to them, how their information can be used, and how and why they should strengthen their privacy settings. 

The information presented in Safe Space is eye-opening as it explains what personal details we actually reveal when we use our gadgets online – our location, the time we spend online, what photos or posts we “like,” and so on. Yet the book does not read heavy, it is not too technical either. The illustrations on each page are whimsical, and the color-and-play activities are fun and engaging. 

#YouThink: Fight Fake News, on the other hand, is geared for older kids, those ages 12 to 18. Presented zine style, it unpacks false information and the many forms that it may take such as misleading information, fake photos, and deepfakes. The 42-pager also discusses how context matters and even how our emotional reaction to posts can be a sign that it is fake. The layout of #YouThink is light-hearted and entertaining.

Explaining data privacy and fake news to children can be challenging,” says Gigo Alampay, CANVAS’ executive director and author of the books, “but we think this is important information that children and teens should know. These books will help them build their skills in keeping themselves and their data safe, as well as differentiating what is fact or fake.” Alampay further asserts, “We also hope that these books can become an opportunity for children and their guardians to talk meaningfully to each other about things they see online, or things in general.”

Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy has a section with pointers for teachers and parents on how to use the book. #YouThink: Fight Fake News includes letters from experts on misinformation and fake news.

Both books feature illustrations and design by Studio Dialogo. Copies of the books will be donated to the National Data Privacy Commision in support of its information and education efforts. The paper cut illustration by artist Liza Flores which serves as the book cover of Safe Space and will also be donated to the National Data Privacy Commission.

Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy and #YouThink: Fight Fake News are sold at P300 each at www.lookingforjuan.com.  Looking for Juan is a local online store that seeks to redefine what it means to be Filipino by offering children’s books that are published by CANVAS and other art-infused gifts that celebrate home-grown artistry while improving functional literacy in the country. The latter is implemented through the store’s Buy 1, Donate 2 lifetime deal, where every purchase of Safe Space, #YouThink, or any book at Looking for Juan is matched by a donation to two Filipino kids in disadvantaged communities, empowering them to have a better future.

Looking for Juan’s book donations are distributed through CANVAS’ One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign. The program – with the help of partner individuals and organizations – gives books to underprivileged communities to help millions of functionally illiterate Filipino kids by increasing access to books and encouraging a love for reading to promote functional literacy, creative thinking, and independent reading skills. To date, more than 350,000 books have been given away to children in the Philippines, from Batanes to Zamboanga. 

Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy and #YouThink: Fight Fake News are made possible with support from Globe Telecom and Google.

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