16 July 2020

Latest news from the ICO

The regulator for data protection – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – continues to publish guidance for organisations. Three of the most relevant updates for schools in the last month are summarised below.

Age Appropriate Design Code

Last month the government laid this code before Parliament. We provided three updates last year on the progress of this statutory code, which sets out 15 standards that relevant online services should meet to protect children’s privacy on the internet and when, for instance, developing apps or social networking platforms. The ICO views this as a “huge step” towards protecting children online, especially given the increased reliance on online services at home during Covid-19.

Schools are not required to comply with this code, but it is important that they check that the apps and websites they use with pupils will meet the standards in the code when it comes into effect. Once the code has been approved by Parliament, online service providers will have a 12-month period to implement the necessary changes before the ICO can take action against them in line with its published Regulatory Action Policy.

For a copy of the full code that was laid before Parliament, please see here.

New Q&As on employee testing

The ICO has added new content to its Covid-19 information hub, including recently added Q&As around testing employees.

These can be found here.

Tips on secure video conferencing

The ICO has produced a short list of what organisations need to be aware of when staff are using video conferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It includes checking the privacy and security settings, being aware of phishing risks in video chat and ensuring software is up to date.

The list can be found in the following ICO blogs here.

For more information and for advice, please contact Paul Watkins on pwatkins@hcrlaw.com or on 07872 871 293.

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Paul Watkins, Solicitor

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