Now that the GDPR is 'out there' and officially in force, the ICO is looking at how the Data Protection Act can protect the privacy of children and their best interests when online. They are looking at the development of a design code aimed at those that design online services for children, and what can be expected in terms of data protection.
The ICO is calling for 'views from providers of online services, child development experts, children’s advocacy services, academics and others with an interest in what the Code should say.' In my mind this includes parents, and anybody that cares about the online world for children now and in the future, and children themselves. The ICO will also be conducting a separate consultation with children, parents and guardians in the near future.
Whether playing online games, watching and sharing videos or interacting with friends via apps and social media, children today grow up with digital technology as a fundamental part of their daily lives. This is a good thing. It is in all our interests to create an environment in which kids are engaged, informed, and responsible digital citizens of the future. But while allowing them access to the many benefits that technology brings, we must protect their privacy and best interests when online. This is a challenging task, but one we have to get right. When children can master a tablet before they learn to ride a bike and when kids as young as 13 can sign up for social media accounts, then the websites and apps they use must be designed with consideration of children’s rights and needs built in. That’s why we’re producing the Age Appropriate Design Code. To let those who design the online services that children use know what we expect from them.