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ICO Code of Practice to protect children’s online privacy

Been in my drafts for a couple of months but it’s still worth sharing.

The Information Commissioner’s Office published an Age Appropriate Design Code, it’s a set of standards that online services should meet to protect children’s privacy.

That means privacy settings should be set to high by default and nudge techniques should not be used to encourage children to weaken their settings. Location settings that allow the world to see where a child is, should also be switched off by default. Data collection and sharing should be minimised and profiling that can allow children to be served up targeted content should be switched off by default too.

This design code should apply to all users, not just children. But it’s a good start.

When it comes to children (and vulnerable adults), I’m less concerned about tracking and personal data retention but find it more egregious that they are taken advantage through psychological manipulation to spend more money or time in a game or service which has an overall objective to keep people hooked by giving them just enough of something they like to keep there endorphins flowing.