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Published, 11 September 2020

UK Information Commissioner introduces a statutory code designed to protect children online

A statutory code requiring digital organisations to provide better online privacy protections for children came into force for the UK on 2 September 2020.

The Age Appropriate Design Code or Children’s Code applies to organisations providing online services and products likely to be accessed by children up to age 18, and gives organisations a year to integrate the necessary changes into their products.

All the major social media and online services used by children in the UK will need to conform to the code, which stipulates that the best interests of the child are paramount.

The code sets out 15 age-appropriate standards to be met and will require digital services to automatically provide children with a built-in baseline of data protection whenever they download a new app, game or visit a website. The focus is on ensuring that children have the best possible access to online services whilst minimising data collection and use, by default. Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

“This code makes clear that kids are not like adults online, and their data needs greater protections. We want children to be online, learning and playing and experiencing the world, but with the right protections in place."

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