Britain seeks to step up regulation on online services accessible to children

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said on Monday that it is setting out the standards expected of those responsible for designing, developing or providing online services likely to be accessed by children, when they process their personal data.

The “Age appropriate design: a code of practice for online services” has been published for consultation, and when finalized, it will be the first of its kind and set an international benchmark, stated the ICO, the data watchdog of Britain.

Organizations should follow the new code and demonstrate that their services use children’s data fairly and in compliance with data protection law, and those that don’t, could face enforcement action including a fine or an order to stop processing data, the ICO said.

The code sets out 16 standards of age appropriate design for online services like apps, connected toys, social media platforms, online games, educational websites and streaming services, when they process children’s personal data.

The code is out for consultation until May 31. The ICO will draft a final version to be laid before Britain’s parliament and the code is expected to come into effect before the end of the year.