Arctic childhood in data-driven culture: wearable technology and children’s right to privacy in Finland

Annamari Vänskä, Sini Mickelsson, Daria Morozova, Heidi Härkönen, Olga Gurova, Elina Pirjatanniemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The article discusses the definition of ‘arctic childhood’: how it affects the ideal of childhood in the Arctic countries while differentiating it from understandings of childhood in more temperate climates. ‘Arctic childhood’ offers novel viewpoints to the concept of childhood. It grants agency to the non-human world: environment, weather and design solutions such as clothes and wearable technology. It also highlights how these shape the concept of childhood in the Arctic and beyond. The article focuses on wearable technology, which brings new legal issues to considerations of childhood in data-driven culture. The central argument is two-fold. As design solutions, wearable technology may preserve the ideal of the active child, essential to Arctic and Finnish childhoods. Legally, however, there are some issues: since wearable technology is designed to bring forth and share with others the vital functions of the child’s body, it raises concerns about children’s fundamental right to privacy and data protection. By bringing together fashion studies and the doctrinal study of law, and by using wearable technology as an example, the article argues that multidisciplinary approaches are needed when new technologies designed to track and monitor individuals are offered to minors in the name of staying healthy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-283
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Studies in Fashion & Beauty
Issue number2
Early online date17 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dive into the research topics of 'Arctic childhood in data-driven culture: wearable technology and children’s right to privacy in Finland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this