Published on: 1st March 2021
The Information Commissioner’s Office has this week urged businesses affected by the new Children’s Code to prepare for its full implementation in 6 months’ time.
The Age Appropriate Design Code, which is the formal title, came into force on 2 September 2020, but had a 12-month transitional period to allow businesses more time to prepare. It takes full effect on 2 September 2021.
The Code requires changes to online services and products, so that children’s data has more protection over and above the existing data protection laws. It will apply to all the major online services used by children in the UK and will affect services such as apps, websites, social media and online games. The Code is a recognition that children should be treated differently when online and includes measures such as providing specific default settings, whilst at the same time minimising data collection and use.
The Children’s Code sets out 15 standards that organisations are required to meet, so that children’s data is protected online. They are not specific technical standards, but more principles that should be considered and at the heart of the online provision to a child. They include matters such as considering the best interests of the child; doing a data protection impact assessment; age appropriate application; data minimisation; switching geolocation off by default and so on.
Failure to follow the Code could prove difficult for organisations, particularly with regard to the principle of processing data fairly. The ICO are likely to take a dim view of businesses not adhering to it and may use their regulatory powers, including formal enforcement.
The ICO news bulletin can be found at:https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2021/03/ico-urges-businesses-to-act-now-as-children-s-code-comes-into-force-in-six-months/
If you require any advice on compliance with the Children’s Code, please contact solicitor Andrew Swan at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 0191 232 0283
Head of Regulation
Tel: 0191 211 1503
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