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Protecting children’s privacy online
This is an important news release from the Information Commissioner’s Office, which has published an Age Appropriate Design Code – a set of 15 standards that online services should meet to protect children’s privacy.
The code sets out the standards expected of those responsible for designing, developing or providing online services like apps, connected toys, social media platforms, online games, educational websites and streaming services. It covers services likely to be accessed by children and which process their data.
The code will require digital services to automatically provide children with a built-in baseline of data protection whenever they download a new app, game or visit a website.
That means privacy settings should be set to high by default and nudge techniques should not be used to encourage children to weaken their settings. Location settings that allow the world to see where a child is, should also be switched off by default. Data collection and sharing should be minimised and profiling that can allow children to be served up targeted content should be switched off by default too.
‘There are laws to protect children in the real world. We need our laws to protect children in the digital world too.’ UK Information Commissioner