Private matters: Taking kids seriously

This month Aegon's Kid's Counsel provided their candid and insightful advice on the subject of data privacy. A number of their insights are already helping determine Aegon's approach to this important topic.

We're always seeking to learn at Aegon, but knowledge doesn't just come from our teams of experienced global experts, it comes from listening to our customers – and, perhaps surprisingly, children.

For the second consecutive year, Aegon in the Netherlands teamed up with a group of local children who make up our Raad van Kinderen (Kids Counsel). The collaboration provides children with an opportunity to share their concerns and ideas with decision-makers. For Aegon, it brings a fresh perspective on issues which are important to our customers today and tomorrow.

Royal seal of approval

This year, a group of 31 children from the Nutsschool Zorgvliet in The Hague were set the task of answering a question posed by Aegon: "What kind of private information should Aegon use to help its customers?" It's an important and topical question for Aegon, which takes data protection very seriously.

In March, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, noted for her advocacy for literacy and children, moderated the final session of consultations with the children at Aegon's headquarters. She was joined by Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts and several members of Aegon's senior leadership.

Teacher Ilona Holsnijders said the topic under question "gave me the opportunity to also talk with the children about using social media and what they do and do not share online."

Dealing with the dilemmas

During preparatory sessions, children were encouraged to think about what they do and do not wish to share with others, as well as the dilemma Aegon and other large companies face in seeking to tailor products and services to best suit customer needs.

The outcome produced several ideas which Aegon intends to act on, including tweaks to website information and communications messaging.

Raad van Kinderen

The Kids Counsel encourages dialogue between decision-makers and children about current dilemmas and issues. The Kids Counsel is an initiative of the Missing Chapter Foundation (MCF) and Unicef.