The Children’s code (or Age appropriate design code) is a statutory data protection code of practice for industry who can use it to design online products and services to give children better experiences and keep them safer online. The code is for online services likely to be accessed by children, such as apps, online games, social media and websites.
As part of the process of laying the code before the UK Parliament, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) made a commitment to conduct an evaluation to assess its impact one year after the end of the code’s transition phase on 2 September 2021.
The evaluation report sets out what we have learned through the process of developing and implementing the code, as well as the emerging evidence of its impact.
We’ve assessed over 50 organisations for conformance with the code and currently have 11 open investigations. We’ve also audited 10 online services. We have revised our position to clarify that adult-only services are in scope of the Children’s code if they are likely to be accessed by children and guidance will be published to support adult-only and other organisations over the coming months.
We’ve supported various countries and states around the world, including California, to show how we’ve implemented the code as they develop similar approaches, extending the benefits of the code beyond the UK to help them set up their own laws to protect children.
We welcome the recognition within the evaluation, of the success we have had implementing the code since it came into effect on 2 September 2020. Nearly half of the businesses we have surveyed feel that they are fully conforming with the code. We have laid solid foundations on which to build and share learning.
We are currently considering our medium and long term strategies which will help us to improve children’s online experiences over the next two-five years.