15 January 2019

Design standard code planned for apps and websites used by children

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is one step closer to introducing design standards which providers of online services and apps used by children will need to meet when processing personal data of children.

Last month the ICO’s call for evidence on an Age Appropriate Design Code (the Code) closed following responses from bodies representing the views of children, child development experts and providers of online services such as Google. The ICO is reviewing these responses and will draft the Code which will then be submitted to the Secretary of State for parliamentary approval.

The Code is a requirement of the Data Protection Act 2018 which the ICO will take into account when exercising its regulatory functions. It will also be taken into account by the courts and tribunals when it is relevant to the proceedings brought before them.

Schools should keep an eye on this to ensure that, once the Code is published, pupils only access apps and websites that meet these design and privacy standards (where possible). We will provide more information on this Code once it is drafted.

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Paul Watkins, Solicitor
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