The ICO's Age Appropriate Design Code came into force on 2 September 2020, although there is a 12 month transition period to allow organisations time to prepare for compliance with the standards of the Code. The transition period ends on 2 September 2021, and organisations therefore only have six months left to prepare for compliance with the Code.
With six months left to go, today the ICO urged organisations and businesses to make necessary changes to prepare for compliance with the Code.
The ICO has surveyed 500 services and businesses to gauge understanding of the Code, as well as opportunities and challenges the Code may present for organisations. Although the ICO will publish its full findings from the survey in May, its initial analysis has indicated businesses are still in the preparation stage for compliance with the Code.
The Code will apply to online services that are "likely" to be accessed by a child, which for the purposes of the Code is anyone under the age of 18. Anyone that designs or develops online services will need to consider whether the Code applies, including services such as apps, connected toys and devices (including any devices which are likely to be used by a child), search engines, social media platforms, streaming services, online games, news or educational websites and websites that offer goods or services over the internet.
You can read more about the 15 standards of the Code, and practical steps to comply, in our summary here.
“This week marks six months until the code is fully in place, and there is plenty still to be done, both by my office in supporting organisations, and in businesses stepping up to make the necessary changes. “But that work will be worthwhile. The code is an important piece of work in protecting children. In the coming decade, I believe children’s codes will be adopted by a great number of jurisdictions and we will look back and find it astonishing that there was ever a time that children did not have these mandated protections. “There is a more fundamental point here too: if we have a generation who grow up seeing digital services misuse their personal data, what does that do to their trust in innovation in the future?”