Children and data protection law—the age appropriate design code (children’s code)
Children and data protection law—the age appropriate design code (children’s code)

The following Information Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Children and data protection law—the age appropriate design code (children’s code)
  • Scope of the Code
  • Services subject to the Code
  • Territorial scope
  • Out of scope services
  • Meaning of ‘child’ under the Code
  • Interaction of the code with the intermediary liability regime
  • Key standards
  • Best interests of the child
  • DPIAs
  • More...

Children and data protection law—the age appropriate design code (children’s code)

The UK data protection authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has made the processing of children’s data subject to the UK General Data Protection Regulation, Retained Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (UK GDPR) a regulatory priority.

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) required the ICO to produce a statutory Code of Practice (the Code) on Age appropriate design for providers of information society services (ISS) that process personal data and are likely to be accessed by children. The ICO often refer to this as the ‘Children’s Code’.

For guidance on the meaning of ISS, see Practice Note: Children and data protection law—Key concepts and definitions for the processing of children’s personal data. Most online services, such as search engines, social media, content streaming services, online games, news or educational websites and websites offering goods or services, are likely to be an ISS.

However services that are not an ISS include:

  1. public authorities providing online public services, provided the service is not typically provided on a commercial basis

  2. websites that just provide information about a real-world business (and do not allow purchase of a product or use a service online)

  3. traditional voice telephony (however, internet-based voice calling services (eg Voice over Internet Protocol) are an ISS)

  4. general broadcast services (eg scheduled television or radio, even if broadcast over the

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