The 5Ds of privacy literacy: a framework for privacy education

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Information and Learning Sciences

Publication Date



Purpose Existing privacy-related educational materials are not situated in privacy theory, making it hard to understand what specifically children learn about privacy. This study aims, to offer learning objectives and guidance grounded in theories of privacy and learning to serve as a foundation for privacy literacy efforts. Design/methodology/approach This article reviews theories of privacy and literacy as social practices and uses these insights to contribute a set of learning objectives for privacy education called the 5Ds of privacy literacy. Findings This article connects the 5Ds of privacy literacy with existing curricular standards and offers guidance for using the 5Ds to create educational efforts for preteens grounded in theories of sociocultural learning. Practical implications Learning scientists, instructional designers and privacy educators can use the 5Ds of privacy literacy to develop educational programs that help children hone their ability to enact appropriate information flows. Social implications Current approaches to privacy education treat privacy as something people need to protect from the incursions of technology, but the authors believe the 5Ds of privacy literacy can redefine privacy – for children and adults alike – as something people experience with the help of technology. Originality/value This study uniquely integrates theories of privacy and learning into an educational framework to guide privacy literacy pedagogy.