New Children’s Privacy Design Code In Force


A new data protection code has taken effect in the UK designed to restrict and monitor online services accessed and used by children.

The Age Appropriate Design Code, also referred to as the Children’s code, has been introduced by the UK ICO to make the internet a “better and safer place for children”.

The code gives organisations guidance on how they can use children’s data lawfully. The new rules apply to online services such as apps, social media platforms, video and music streaming sites, video gaming platforms, websites, and other digital service platforms that are likely to be used or accessed by children

These organisations are now required to show they are balancing the rights and safety of children through the development of designs and services compliant with the code.

Stephen Bonner, ICO’s Executive Director of Regulatory Futures and Innovation, stated in a blog published on the ICO website that the code has been developed to deal with concerns about how children’s personal data was being used and shared, and to tackle the potential harms and risk to children using the internet, including physical, emotional and psychological, and financial. The new code is expected to bring to an end practices such as bombarding child users with content and personalised service features such inappropriate advertisements.

Bonner also confirmed that the ICO would be taking a proactive approach to requiring social media platforms, video and music streaming sites and the gaming industry to inform the ICO as to how their services are designed in line with the code, and that this may require ICO support, or use of the ICO’s powers to investigate or audit organisations.

The code takes effect following a 12 month transition period. Bonner confirmed in his blog that Facebook, Google, Instagram, TikTok and others have all made significant changes to their child privacy and safety measures recently in preparation for the code.


Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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