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Age appropriate online services

Age appropriate online services

The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has published for consultation a code of practice for online services in respect of age-appropriate design. The code is out for public consultation until 31 May 2019 and the ICO expects a final version to come into effect before the end of the year.

The draft code provides practical guidance for information society services (“ISS”) about how to ensure that they appropriately safeguard children’s personal data as children are spending more and more time online at younger ages.

When finalised, the code will apply to ISS who provide online products or services that process personal data likely to be accessed by children in the UK.

The draft code sets out the following notable standards:

  • the best interest of the child should be a primary consideration when developing online services;
  • settings must be “high privacy” by default;
  • minimal personal data should be collected and retained;
  • children’s data should not usually be shared (unless there is a compelling reason to do so);
  • geolocation services should be switched off by default;
  • nudge techniques should not be used to encourage children to provide personal data or turn off privacy settings;
  • where there are parental controls, provide children with information that they are being monitored; and
  • profiling options should be switched off by default.

The ICO is currently seeking feedback from the public on the draft code.

You can read more about the code here 

For more information on this code, please contact Natalie Ingram, or you can give us a call on 0345 070 6000. 

This article was prepared by Jemima Clarke