January 22, 2020
On January 21, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office published the final version of its Age Appropriate Design Code, which sets out the standards that online services need to meet in order to protect children’s privacy and has now been laid before Parliament for approval. The code is not a new law rather it sets standards and explains how the General Data Protection Regulation applies in the context of children using digital services. The code sets out 15 standards of age appropriate design reflecting a risk-based approach. The focus is on providing default settings which ensures that children have the best possible access to online services whilst minimising data collection and use, by default. It follows a thorough consultation process that included speaking with parents, children, schools, children’s campaign groups, developers, tech and gaming companies and online service providers. Following the code coming into force, there will be a 12-month transition period to allow organizations to implement the standards. The ICO expects the transition period to end by autumn 2021, and has said that it is preparing a significant package of support for organizations as they work towards compliance.