The ICO exists to empower you through information.

This guidance presents a simple and accessible process for preparing for and undertaking an assessment of whether you are meeting children’s best interests, by: 

  • preparing for your assessment through mapping the demographics of children that use your services, your processing of their data, and associated relevant design features and user experiences;
  • identifying impacts on children’s rights they universally hold under the UNCRC;
  • assessing the likelihood and scale of these impacts; and
  • supporting children’s best interests by reducing risks and maximising the benefits to your child users surfaced by your children’s best interests assessment.

You should read and apply this guidance with the following in-mind:

  • The steps in this guidance are not compulsory. You have freedom to expand or adapt the approach described to ensure it works in your context.
  • This guidance outlines important questions to consider at each stage of a best interests assessment, and signposts to tools that can support you to answer them. This is because the risks and benefits to children that arise from data processing vary significantly across the diverse range of sectors, technologies and organisation types covered by the code.
  • This guidance does not present an exhaustive list of all possible data processing activities, impacts on children’s rights, or risk mitigation measures. You may need to consider other issues not explicitly mentioned in this guidance depending on the context of your service.
  • A best interests assessment supports your DPIA. You should not treat it as a replacement or as a separate compliance exercise.