The long-awaited launch of a new code of practice to protect children’s privacy online has moved a step closer after Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has finally submitted the regulator’s plans to the Secretary of State.
The Age Appropriate Design Code of Practice - dubbed the Kids Code - is designed to provide guidance for providers of apps, software programs, websites, games, connected toys and even devices without a screen which process personal data and are likely to be accessed by children in the UK.
The Government included provisions in the Data Protection Act 2018 (and GDPR) to create standards that provide proper safeguards for children when they are online.
However, the code requires approval from Parliament so will not be implemented until after the General Election. Current restrictions in the pre-election period mean that the submitted code will not be published until after a new Government is formed.
The proposal follows around 450 responses to the draft code sent out for consultation in April and dozens of meetings with trade bodies, industry representatives, campaigners and individual organisations.
In a recent blogpost, Denham said: "Online services play an ever-growing part in our children’s lives, but the Internet was not designed for children. Our code aims not to protect children from the digital world, but instead protect them within it.
"We do not want to see an age-gated Internet, where visiting any digital service requires people to prove how old they are. Our aim has never been to keep children from online services. We want providers to set their privacy settings to ‘high’ as a default, and to have strategies in place for how children’s data is handled."