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Intro  0:01

Welcome to the She Said Privacy/He Said Security podcast. Like any good marriage we will debate, evaluate, and sometimes quarrel about how privacy and security impact business in the 21st century.

Jodi Daniels  0:20

Hi, Jodi Daniels here. I’m the Founder and CEO of Red Clover Advisors, a certified women’s privacy consultancy. I’m a privacy consultant and a Certified Information Privacy Professional and I help provide practical privacy advice to overwhelmed companies.

Justin Daniels  0:36

Hello, Justin Daniels here I am passionate about helping companies solve complex cyber and privacy challenges during the lifecycle of their business. I’m the cyber quarterback helping clients design and implement cyber plans as well as help them manage and recover from data breaches.

Jodi Daniels  0:53

And this episode is brought to you by Red Clover Advisors. We help companies to comply with data privacy laws and establish customer trust that they can grow and nurture integrity. We work with companies in a variety of fields including technology, SaaS, ecommerce, media agencies, and professional financial services. In short, we use data privacy to transform the way companies do business together, we’re creating a future where there’s greater trust between companies and consumers. To learn more, visit But Justin who’s with us today you’re with Oh, I am and of course our dog and basil.

Justin Daniels  1:32

Yes, I’m sure we’ll be commenting but we are joined by Chris McKenna. He is a man with never ending energy when it comes to fighting for the safety and protection of children. Chris practices is Internet safety tips on his four amazing children. His 2019 US Senate Judiciary Committee testimony was the catalyst for draft legislation and ongoing discussion that could radically change online child protection law he earned, Protect Young Eyes, the NCO’s dignity defense alert award in 2020. Welcome, Chris. Thanks, Jodi. Thanks, Justin. can be with you, too.

Jodi Daniels  2:09

Yeah, like that DJ for late night DJ late night. Yeah, you’re gonna have like Mike Hilton everything, like get you all fancy fancy. In all seriousness, Chris, we are super passionate about this topic. We love to bring people on to the show who can help protect kids as parents ourselves. of not four, we have two two legged people and one four legged person, as one of our books likes to call people and dogs, we are very concerned about what is going on in the digital universe. And so we’re really excited to hear about what else we should be concerned about and what we can do about it as parents. Sounds good. I love talking about it. So let’s go. Yeah, well, we want to hear how you got started. How did you become so passionate about this? Tell us a little bit about your journey here.

Chris McKenna  2:58

Sure. Right. So I think each of us if you dig deep enough, there’s something that you tend to have heartburn over, right? We all have things that light us from the inside out just to work on those things. It’s fun, and cool things happen. I don’t know why. But for whatever reason, I have a pretty consistent daily fire that wants to protect kids from online harm. That’s just the way that God has wired me during this phase of my life. Now, this isn’t what I’m trained in. Right. I was a business advisor for Ernst and Young for 12 years. That’s where I started my career. So I love consulting and fixing problems. I’m an accountant by by background that was then called into the local ministry for six years. And God called me out of, you know, the office and then into the local church where I worked both in finance and with students for six years. But it was a critical time because it was 2009 to 2016 that I did that that is the rise of portable internet. Right? So I have parents who then start to come to me in ministry with a lot of new questions. Chris, what is this new app called Snapchat, right? If you can imagine a world when Snapchat was new. And so in 2014, I think I did my first presentation at our church and then a couple other churches just talking about pornography online. There weren’t many people at that point in time that were talking about that issue. And so it seemed to be a need, and my parents were really drawn to this information. So I built a little close Facebook group, and every quarter I put out a PDF, because with that consulting background, just like fixing problems, it seemed like a problem to fix. And that led to a new story that aired right after the Superbowl here locally in 2015. And that led to the website and other things from there that I just didn’t really plan on to be perfectly honest. And so back in 2015 when I started the website, There were very few organizations doing this work. Now there are a lot of organizations today that are doing Internet safety. But six years ago, it was a pretty lonely space. And to be a voice that was saying, Don’t give kids smartphones, because this is what we’re seeing. I’m Snapchat, I was one of the very few people on that island. Nobody saw many problems with those things at that point in time. And so it was a really interesting, sometimes lonely, but a spot that I didn’t really shy away from. And our research was pointing towards problems. And so we started doing more and more presentations. And before COVID, that led a team of six doing 350 presentations all over the country every single year, like that’s what we did, of course, COVID changed all of that. And we transition to more virtual, and we built an app and things to try to be more scalable. during times when we couldn’t bring large groups of two legged, you know, humans together, they can bring their dogs to my talks, I don’t care. And of course, that’s all coming back now, which is fabulous. We love that that part of it. But our statement is that we show families, schools and churches how to create safer digital spaces for kids. That’s what Protect Young Eyes does. And we want to do it in that order. At those three levels. It starts with the family, the most effective formation of how kids handle technology happens at home. It’s not in a curriculum during school, it’s during the 17 hours during a normal school day when they’re at home, which is one of the most critical formation, digital formation happens. We want to be talking to families, like all your awesome listeners, and encourage even though they feel like it’s too much at times encourage parents because I believe that every parent has digital superpowers, they just kind of need to be pointed in the right direction, and then they can do it. Well,

Jodi Daniels  6:48

that is super impressive how you had six people and doing hundreds of presentations a year and 1000s of kids that you were touching. So thank you so much for for sharing your story of how you got here. So let’s maybe dive in. Justin, you want to get started?

Justin Daniels  7:04

Yeah, let’s bring ourselves forward. And you know, it’s funny, you mentioned this, because I remember when our oldest daughter wanted to get TikTok and we said we started laughing. I was like not in our lifetime. But her parents, of course server into privacy and security. And so I think where we’d like to start is can you talk a little bit about what are the biggest misconceptions parents have about digital devices in their kids?

Chris McKenna  7:28

Well, misconceptions or maybe I think one of the biggest challenges that maybe just leads to different ways of thinking. I think one of the biggest challenges that parents deal with when it comes to technology is pure pressure. What do I mean by that? That there is parental pure and cultural pressure that I think is overwhelming to a lot of parents that it’s easy for me to say, Well, of course, I don’t want my kid to have TikTok, but what the heck do I do for my 15 1413 year old daughter when all six of her friends have TikTok? Now I feel like the horrible parent who’s the only one who’s saying no. And I feel like I’m socially ostracizing her from the rest of her friends. And I don’t want to do that. So then they relented, they given I hear that part of the whole sort of digital parenting paradigm, Justin, more than anything else. Like it’s it’s easy to buy into the philosophy sort of at a surface level at an Instagram post level, delay the smartphone, or delay social media. But actual follow through. And implementation of that is really, really difficult. So I think one of the misconceptions is that, you know, I have to do this alone. I think that’s a misconception, which is why I am encouraging more and more parents to start younger binding tribes have like minded parents, who can agree early to do certain things, so that they arrive at that finish line together instead of being the only one, which is why I love movements like the wait until eighth movement, because the spirit of wait until eighth isn’t to wait until eighth, to wait until eighth grade. It’s to find a whole group of parents who as a tribe, can together decide to wait until eighth so that their sons and daughters don’t feel ostracized and alone. When it comes to being the only family making that decision. That’s the real spirit of that movement. And I know Brooke and her team and support and Trump at what they do all the time. But there’s little things like that, that I think we misunderstand, maybe don’t quite take the right approach or you know, and that’s why To be honest, kind of the other, the other half of Protect Young Eyes, and I’ll tell your audience this before, I’m telling a lot of people. I’m actually talking to a nonprofit attorney this afternoon because we What we do a lot sort of On nights and weekends is the advocacy side. I mean, there’s a part of this at the laws and the leader side, that is absolutely failing our kids so that it’s way too easy to give 13 year old smartphones that have adult content on them, because the leaders of organizations are following antiquated laws, and therefore we can’t hold them accountable for the filth that ends up in the hands of our kids. That side of actually fixing the root cause that leads to these problems and leads to these misconceptions is something I’m very passionate about. Because with that consulting background, I’m not satisfied just continuing to put band aids over gaping wounds, which honestly, is the spirit of way too much Internet safety work, right now profiting off of the problem, if I can be really direct, and maybe borderline offend people that are peers of mine, we need more people actually fixing the laws, the leaders and the liability that don’t exist right now, to prevent the issues that necessitate 5000 Internet safety companies needing to exist today, I went on all kinds of different bunny trails for a really simple question that you asked me, and I’m sure there’s other ways we can take it. But those are some things that come to mind based on your question.

Justin Daniels  11:15

But Chris, I want to follow up and ask you something. And you mentioned this about leaders, laws and liability. And one of the things that’s been a recurring theme with our guests on this show, at least from my perspective, is companies make huge amounts of profit off of data tracking us on the internet behavioral targeting, and my question is, give us your sense as to how easy it is going to be for these companies to give up their profitable business model, as opposed to having laws that have significant consequences if they engage in the kind of behavior that is really harmful to us, and specifically kids.

Chris McKenna  11:50

Yeah, boy, so much there, right. Um, you know, kind of at the roots, that the reason we have, you know, organizations that and, of course, I want business to flourish. I’m a fan of innovation, I’m a fan of capitalism, all these things, right. We exist in this world, you know, your family, my family and our businesses, we, we thrive in that, but there are there’s a void of guard rails that exists in this particular industry that sets it apart from others, right. So we have any every law, Justin related to technology that protects our children online, is at least 20 years old. There’s two primary laws that dictate what kinds and quantities of data are collected from our young people. The number one is what is referred to as often the 26 words that created the internet, right? section 230 in the telecommunications decency act, back in 1996, which in the spirit of innovation did great things we wanted to give this new thing, interactive Computer Services, wide space to innovate and grow. I love that that’s great. But 25 years ago, we could not have conceived the digital risks, or the what I would call lowercase g God like technologies that exist today when that when those 26 words were conceived. And for everybody who would say, Oh, it’s sacred, you can’t touch it. If you mess with section 230, you’re going to destroy the internet. I look at all those people. I say, really? Do you feel as though the internet that we’ve created is something that you’re proud of? Are we doing what we can to balance both privacy and protection? Because unlike the way that you think, I think those two things can coexist. You’re just not trying hard enough. You’re just not trying hard enough. So that’s the whole, you know, kind of law side. And then there’s copper, the children’s online privacy protection act from 99 2000, which set the digital age of adulthood at age 13. Which if you talk to Senator Markey from Massachusetts, who was a part of that legislation, who’s still in the senate today, a wonderful guy, he would tell you and you can find these quotes that even in 1999 13, was a concession based on the digital risk that existed then what does that compared to when you look at the digital risks that exists today 13 is completely inadequate. When it comes to the protection of our children. You look at the intelligence of the technologies that are grappling for their attention, their hearts and their affections. So those are some of the things that motivate my desire for change. That’s at the law level. We need laws to prevent bad actors from doing things. But we also need leaders of integrity that will more swiftly make changes. Laws take time. They take years and I’ve seen that but Gosh, darn it, wouldn’t it be amazing if Tim Cook woke up tomorrow at Apple and just with two brilliant software engineers did like Eight 910 things with screentime that could be done in like four weeks that could radically change the protection of millions and millions of kids in like a month’s time, right? That’s the leader side of this, that I just I want more ownership. I want to sit down across from Tim Cook and say, why don’t you treat parental controls and your devices with the same level of elegance and technical genius, as you do every single feature that’s on your iPhone, that’s the leader side of it. And then liability. I mean, CDA 230 prevented us from going after content providers are, you know, those who have content, we know that part of it too. So those three things are all failing our kids right now. And as you can tell, I have a bit of emotion about that. But we need to fix all aspects of that. But that’s really hard work.

Jodi Daniels  15:50

And as I think we could dive very deep into the policy conversation, we have, Justin, I have a variety of similar and different views when it comes to laws. Someone else over here is very passionate about section 230. But at the same time, I want to make sure that we might have to have just a whole nother episode on that I want to make sure that we can kind of dive into some of what parents can do today. Yeah, we can certainly lobby and and try and adjust and advocate for additional laws. That takes years what you know, today, people will say, Oh, well, I’ll get that phone and I’ll put the controls on. And I’m done. Like, Oh, I got a great control. I don’t have to do anything else. Why don’t they work by themselves? Why isn’t that enough? And what else do parents need to be doing?

Chris McKenna  16:37

Yeah, you bet. So here’s the tactical that that stuff I just talked about, I know can seem a little difficult to grasp, and I get that. But at a tactical, what can I do in the next 48 hours sort of way, teach four layers of digital protection, protecting lives. In fact, we’ve built a masterclass around this, that I have 90 beta testers in right now. And if they love it, then we’ll roll it out to everybody in the beginning of August. But our four layers of digital protection are the relational layer, the locational layer, the Wi Fi layer, and then the device layer. And if families can at least make some steps forward in each of those four layers, then we’re moving in the right direction. The relational layer is first and for a very good reason. And in that layer lives digital trust, which is something we’ve come up with that Protect Young Eyes after six years and 1300 presentations. Jodi, there’s certain things we noticed in families, families who have kids who tend to use technology, well do five things, right, they embody a spirit of copy me. In other words, the parents model digital behaviors that they want their kids to have, they co play, they do tech with their kids shoulder to shoulder with them. So there’s trust being built, they’re curious, their posture with their kids is not condemning when it comes to tech. They don’t need more adults wagging a disappointed finger at them. But they’re curious because if you want to know what’s important to your kid, there may be is no better reflection of that than their TikTok or YouTube watch history to understand what their curiosities they’re just misconceptions or insecurities are. It’s a fabulous doorway into your child’s heart. The fourth aspect is conversations talking about all the awkward things that no one talked to us Gen Xers about when we were growing up. And then finally coaching. I’m with you, I’m for you. I want you to succeed with technology. It’s not me versus you. It’s me for you. Those are the five components of digital trust. That’s layer one, layer two locational. We don’t use tech in certain places, whether you’re for 14 or 40. If you find yourself often in your bedroom alone in the dark, you will find yourself in a tempting situation. As a man who struggled with pornography for years, I can tell you that you can justify almost anything when you’re tired at the end of a long day at 11pm with a smartphone and I supposedly have a more fully developed prefrontal cortex than a 14 year old boy and yet I still struggle. So location. Layer matters where we use tech dictates how we use tech. The third layer is the Wi Fi layer. The most important digital device in every single home is your router, hug your router, have a good router, have a router that at the source uses parental controls like Griffin, which is the one that we recommend shameless plug I love it. My family depends on it. I have an app on my phone, it could be an airport in Atlanta, visiting my friends, Jodi and Justin and I could turn off the orange Chromebook in my house from that app walking through Atlanta’s airport. It’s wonderful. And then the fourth layer is the device layer. That’s where wonderful services that are parental controls whether it’s Protect Young Eyes, which is what I use, or bark, I know you’ve talked to Tanya Jordan, who is fabulous, I love bark. They’re great because it’s not always connected to the home network. So when that device goes somewhere and attaches somewhere else or is using cellular data, you need to have something that’s working there too. And it’s those four layers that I think when We at least take a few steps forward. And all four of them go a long way to protect our kids in a digital environment where the leaders laws and liability are not doing their part.

Jodi Daniels  20:11

I really like how you laid that out. I’m thinking here through what we’ve done. And, you know, had some ideas, the new school years coming up, how are we going to do things a little bit differently, how I can talk to my daughter have already had some ideas. And I really like how you phrase that she may or may not enjoy our conversation at the very beginning. But in the long run, she Well, I very much appreciate the very thoughtful approach that you’ve presented. I think a lot of families can relate to that. Awesome. I know the hug your router was, might be

Chris McKenna  20:43

a half two. It’s like the social distance champion before it was cool your poor router, I kind of relate. It’s sort of like, you know, for any friends who may be listening to who go to church, right? The poor tech team is kind of the same way at church. I sort of sits in the back. Everybody ignores and doesn’t pay any attention to that awesome tech team back there. That’s making everything work. All the microphones, the lights, the fog, the projector, everything’s beautiful. But as soon as like one microphone doesn’t get turned on on time. What’s everybody do? They turn around and glare at the tech team? It’s like, Where’s the love? Like, you don’t think about your router until your Wi Fi gets a little glitchy and then you’re cursing it out. But the rest of the time. It’s like heavy lifting, carrying your home keeping you happy all day long. And it’s like, give me a hug. Come on. Now.

Justin Daniels  21:29

You’ve just inspired me. I’m going to refer to the router as the umpire of the digital world.

Chris McKenna  21:35

There you go. Yes, that’s it. Like, you know, the umpire during the baseball game. They miss a call. They’re pillared. But anytime they get it right. We don’t pay any attention to that. Absolutely. You got it in your baseball, I know. Well, one of the other things we wanted to talk about is you know, you have a thought around what is the most important phrase you can say to your digital children great timing, because actually today even though I know this will probably release and go live at a later point other than the day that we’re but I’m doing a talk today for Nikos see the National Center on sexual exploitation at their coalition, virtual conference with 10,000 people. And it’s happening today through Saturday, which is really great. And I’m answering the same question. So I want every single young person that is attached to the adults that are going to be watching this or listening this to as often as you can. And with a spirit of curiosity, openness, Grace and understanding, understanding. First you write that it is harder growing up today than it was then when we grew up grew up. It is incredibly difficult to be a child today. And with that sort of framework, I want us to look at our kids as often as possible and say, You know what, if anything ever happens to you, online, you see something, even if you do something that you know, wasn’t the right thing to do, you come to me, you’re not in trouble. And you can land safely and softly with me and in your head moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas. I want you to say that into a mirror. And then I want you to say out loud to yourself, I’m not going to freak out, I’m not going to freak out. I’m not going to freak out, I’m not going to freak out, we need to be the ones first to create as wide and as soft and as graceful as a space as part of a space as possible for our young people to land on. Not if but when they make a choice online that they know wasn’t the right choice. And I think our young people just need to hear that from us. Shoulder to shoulder, you know in the car, mealtime car time, bedtime, whenever it is just say it and then walk away. You don’t necessarily even need a response. I think what we want often in parenting is to like say something deep and profound to our kids. And then we’re like waiting for them to respond. Did you get it? Like, does that make sense? And I think that’s the wrong approach like this sort of conversation thoughts like this sinking in, we do it in drips and not dowsing. Right. We want to have one two hour talk with a PowerPoint that gets all of our points across and makes it known that this is the way I think I just I just don’t think that works. And I don’t think it works because the voices that we’re sort of speaking out of say against but that we’re trying to counter and overcome our consistent persistent voices, right. Dr. YouTube, Dr. Tiktok and Dr. YouTube are sorry, Dr. YouTube Tiktok. And, you know, Instagram and Snapchat, they’re on 24 seven. So we need to drip these things out. We need to say to them frequently and you know, from time to time, not one time, and I just think we we need to do it in drips instead of needing one big talk about stuff. We were probably modeled one big talk one big talk about the birds and the bees are one big long talk about whatever awkward thing our Boomer parents tried to talk to us about. And we probably walked away from that conversation more confused than when it started. At least I know that I did. And so I want that Sort of persistent, consistent drip approach that is Invitational that is opening doors, that is curious. And that is just making as wide of a space as possible for our young people to bring what could be a really horrible bad experience that they feel online.

Jodi Daniels  25:18

I really like the idea of the, you know, our kids are listening, even if they don’t reply. And the idea of continuously making comments obviously, about this topic, but all topics, you know, every now and again, we’ll we’ll see it and oh, like you were listening good. But they don’t, they don’t always reply the way we’re expecting. It’s not meant to be always a two sided conversation, but more of a reminder of that we’re here. So thank you, thank you for sharing that we obviously love and remember the hug your router tip. At the same time, we always ask our guests the same two questions at the end. And can you think of maybe an additional privacy or security tip maybe even for adults? And what would you offer as the best personal cybertek?

Chris McKenna  26:04

Well, so to make it as sort of bright and broad and wide as possible, make it as bright as possible. That was a weird combination of words. Right? Right. Right, yeah. Um, for something that would apply to both adults and kids. You know, I remember very vividly news interview that I did right before school started one year, so I was doing a back to school technology talk with a new station. And what struck a lot of parents about that interview that I did was something that I talked about. And that was we as parents are often the greatest violators of our children’s privacy, right, we often think about trying to teach kids about guarding their privacy online, and I get that, but I want parents to think about how often we are the violators in our desire to share and to post and to comment of our children’s privacy from a very, very young age. And we have a whole generation of young people that are going to inherit, like 18 years of us sort of violating their privacy in our own social media accounts that they’re just going to have to inherit one day when they kind of become adults and sort of inherit the profile, the you know, persona that mom and dad have created of them over the years. And so I just I want parents to own that a little bit more and to not buy into that own that pressure, that they sometimes feel that they should be asking their kids every single time that a photo is taking whether they have permission to post it pw p post with permission, I have my kids permission to post photos of them online, I think that’s an important posture in that first part of digital trust, which is modeling, right? If I am to respect pictures, whether it’s with nudes, or others and whatever photos, if I want them to create an attitude of respect around a photo of somebody else online, then I’ve lead that by showing that I respect photos online. So that’s an element something that doesn’t get I don’t think talked about often enough is how parents themselves we often think about, you know, the creepy van or other things. What about us? What if we’re the ones violating our own kids privacy? Because it was the last time you thought about your own friend list? And would you hand that photo? Even if Facebook is locked down as tight as possible with how it defines friends? Would you hand that photo of your kids standing on the stoop of your house with the name of their school and their age to every single one of them? If they were standing in a line down your street? I think the answer is probably no. So that’s the one thing that I would say to the parents in particular, which then has a trickle down impact to your kiddos.

Jodi Daniels  28:43

Absolutely. Thanks for sharing,

Justin Daniels  28:45

though, when you’re not out evangelizing about privacy and children. What do you like to do for fun, Chris?

Chris McKenna  28:52

Well, my bio, and maybe you left this part off, so you can allow me to say it, but I think in my bio, I say that I love spreadsheets running and candy. I think those are the three things that I have listed there. So I do for sanity. This is a really hard space, you know, to be in the trenches of digital safety, and the anti pornography movement and these sorts of things. I mean, I I hear a lot of really tough stuff and have to deal with a lot of hard things. So I need sanity and running is my sanity. I don’t run with headphones, I just go out and run for an hour. And I’m actually training for at the end of August, I’m doing a 200 mile relay from Mount Hood, down to seaside could the coast i think is the largest relay in the country with six or seven other friends of mine. So I’m training for that. So running is one of my rejuvenations. And that gives me time to think about family and listen to the Lord and what he has next for me and those kinds of peaceful moments because we live kind of out here in the country. So those are some things and I do love spreadsheets. It’s sort of a joke in all the places that I work because I tend to think in rows and columns. So that probably comes from my CPA background. But I just think most things in life make more sense in the spreadsheet. just my opinion. And then candy. And candy. Yeah, I have to run, you know, to offset that other aspect of what I love. They’re good offset. So

Jodi Daniels  30:13

I did a yoga class this morning and someone screenname was Hello for vino da. That’s great. Yes. Good offset. Yeah. Yeah, it was a very, very similar. Well, Chris, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing, you know, very important and enlightening information for all How can people find you and learn more about you in the organization?

Chris McKenna  30:38

Sure. So our website it’s pretty robust, but we built during the pandemic was an app called the Protect app, you could go to Google Play or the Apple App Store and download the Protect app, just type in Protect Young Eyes. It’s over 500 mini lessons for overwhelmed parents little swipeable panels, as we say in the marketing of it, five minutes a day to unlock your digital parenting superpowers. There’s a bilingual aspect to it. I also live in Mexico and speak Spanish, it’s important to me that that community is equipped. So it can be either in Spanish or English as a faith based component with three different Bible translations videos to watch with your kids. If you don’t know how to talk to your first grader, about porn or predators, then you can watch Allie a 13 year old in video format on your iPhone sitting shoulder to shoulder with your child and let her start the conversation. So we created those videos. So it’s all in there. Some of it’s free, there’s premium content, or for 3.99 a month for the price of a latte you get a massive amount of all that we’ve learned over the past six years, pretty much this conversation sitting there in your pocket for easy access whenever you need it. So that would be the place and we’re very active on social. We have a strong Instagram and Facebook following. That’s where people want to follow us also.

Jodi Daniels  31:55

Okay, well, great. Well, we’ll make sure to include that in the show notes as well. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

Outro  32:02

Yeah, it’s been great to meet you both. Thanks for listening to the She Said Privacy/He Said Security podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes and check us out on LinkedIn. See you next time.

Privacy doesn’t have to be complicated.