Generally speaking, parents and guardians spend a lot of time going out of their way to teach their children about staying safe in today's world. We teach kids road safety, safety when in crowded spaces or meeting strangers, and more.

However, it is very few times, or even never, that we teach our children about Internet safety and equally as important, online privacy. You don't have to look far to understand why this is important for children. Just recently, Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine for illegally gathering childrenโ€™s personal data on YouTube without parental consent.

However, having said that, how does a parent go about teaching their child about online privacy, a subject many parents themselves are not quite well versed in?

This is where the new "Boris the BabyBot" book by Murray Hunter, one of the leading voices on privacy and free speech in South Africa, could possibly help.

Boris the BabyBot - A little book about Big Data

Playful message about privacy and data collection

According to Hunter, the book is a first of its kind globally, i.e. the worldโ€™s first childrenโ€™s book about data collection and online privacy.

"While the primary aim of the book is fun and play, there is a growing need for children to be savvy about how technology collects their private data. Recent examples include YouTube paying a whopping R25 billion fine for illegally collecting children's data for ads (link), Toys โ€˜Rโ€™ Us installing tracking devices to monitor children as they shop (link), and concerns over the use of facial recognition in apps like TikTok (link)," writes Hunter.

Boris the BabyBot takes a silly, fun and subversive look at the world of digital surveillance for kids. The story follows the misadventures of a baby-tracking robot and a baby that canโ€™t be tracked.

The book was published after a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised over R90,000, with contributions coming from as far afield as Japan and New Zealand.

The book is now available in leading book stores and online via

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