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UK enforces Children’s Code to protect kids’ privacy online, gives companies a year to comply

children, online, privacy, games

The United Kingdom’s Children’s Code — under its Data Protection Act 2018 — that outlines 15 standards of privacy and security that online services that cater to children must adhere to, came into force yesterday, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced. This Code applies to social media platforms, streaming services, connected toys and all other services that process children’s data. Such organisations now have twelve months to get their services and products up to code or face audits, assessments, or fines up to 4% of global turnover or £17 million, whichever is higher. The ICO had published the Children’s Code, formally called the Age Appropriate Design Code, in January. The code covers all services that design, develop or provide online services that are likely to be accessed by children and which process their data. Children are defined as people up to the age of 18 years. To adhere with the code, services will have to automatically, or by design, provide children with a “built-in baseline of data protection” as per 15 standards which include: Setting privacy settings to high by default Not using nudge techniques to cajole children into weakening their privacy settings Switching off location data by default Minimising data collection and sharing Not profiling children to serve them targeted content Establishing age with a level of certainty so that the Code can be applied only to users who are under 18 years, or, if age verification mechanisms cannot be developed, applying the standards of this code to all…

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