The Rt. Hon. Baroness Morgan of Cotes
Secretary of State
Department for Digital, Media, Culture, and Sport
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ
24 January 2020
Dear Secretary of State,
Congratulations on your recent peerage and your re-appointment as Secretary of State. We know you share our passion for children’s rights and we are excited to work with you and your officials on the important issues that children and young people face in this digital age. We are writing in reference to the Age Appropriate Design Code, published by the Information Commissioner this week.
As you know, the Code will require online service providers to give children and young people a high level of data protection by design and default, positioning the UK as a world leader in the promotion of children’s rights online. From the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, to the Broadband Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the US Federal Trade Commission (currently reviewing its own children’s privacy rules), policymakers around the world are watching the Code’s progress and waiting to follow to its lead. This will place the UK in a unique position as world-leaders in designing online protections for children and cementing the country’s place on this global platform.
It will soon be two years since the Data Protection Act 2018 was passed and once the Code takes effect, a further period of transition will follow in order to allow relevant services to comply. Within this transition period, children and young people’s rights will continue to be challenged in the digital environment. By the end of it, children and young people will have waited more than three years to receive the protections that the Code provides.
We urge you, therefore, to lay the Code in Parliament as soon as the ‘standstill’ period has elapsed, and to fully support both the Information Commissioner and the digital sector in enforcing and complying with its provisions. We look forward to working with you and supporting your Department in the introduction of the Code.
Children’s Commissioner for England
The Children’s Charities Coalition on Internet Safety – John Carr OBE (Secretary), Action for Children, Barnardo’s, Children England, The Children’s Society, Coram British Association for Fostering and Adoption, ECPAT UK, Kidscape, National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC, Stop It Now!
Carnegie UK Trust