Children's Code

Information Commissioners Office (ICO)

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Supervisory guidance
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Private and public sector

Policy overview

The Children’s Code, also known as Age-appropriate design code is a data protection code of practice, created by the UK data protection authority Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The aim of the Code is to ensure that online service providers are complying with their obligations under data protection law to protect children’s data online. The Code centers on establishing default settings that prioritise children's access to online services while minimising data collection and usage as the default. The guidance applies to providers of information society services likely to be accessed by children. This covers a wide range of online services, such as apps, online games, and web and social media sites. The Children’s Code contains 15 standards that online services need to follow. Where the Children's Code itself is not legally binding, it is closely attached to the UK's wider data protection rules, meaning that online services need to follow the Code in order to ensure their compliance under the UK's data protection law. The Code was first published in 2020. 

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