May 13, 2021

Volume XI, Number 133

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Age Appropriate Design Code Set to Come into Force

The Age Appropriate Design Code (the “code”) created by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) has completed the Parliamentary process and was issued by the ICO on August 12, 2020. It will come into force on September 2, 2020, with a 12-month transition period for online services to conform to the code.

The code sets out the standards that online services must meet in order to protect children’s privacy. It applies to providers of information services likely to be accessed by children in the UK, including applications, programs, websites, social media platforms, messaging services, games, community environments and connected toys and devices, where these offerings involve the processing of personal data. The final draft of the code was published by the ICO in January 2020 and lists 15 standards that organizations must meet, including requirements to (1) take into consideration the best interests of children, (2) refrain from using children’s personal data in ways that are detrimental to their wellbeing, and (3) ensure that settings default to “high privacy.”

The UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham CBE, commented in the code’s foreword, “I believe companies will want to conform with the standards because they will want to demonstrate their commitment to always acting in the best interests of the child. Those companies that do not make the required changes risk regulatory action. What’s more, they risk being left behind by those organisations that are keen to conform. A generation from now, I believe we will look back and find it peculiar that online services weren’t always designed with children in mind.”

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Copyright © 2021, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 230
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About this Author

In today’s digital economy, companies face unprecedented challenges in managing privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about their customers and employees. The complex framework of global legal requirements impacting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information makes it imperative that modern businesses have a sophisticated understanding of the issues if they want to effectively compete in today’s economy.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s privacy and cybersecurity practice helps companies manage data and...

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