The 5Rights Foundation has welcomed the publication of the Age Appropriate Design Code (‘the Code’) by the UK’s Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham CBE. This ground-breaking piece of regulation, originally introduced as part of the Data Protection Act 2018 by 5Rights’ Chair Baroness Kidron, will transform the experiences of children and young people online.
Baroness Kidron, Chair of 5Rights Foundation, commented:
“This is a momentous day for children and young people, for their parents and for all those who believe in the potential of digital technology as a positive force in children’s lives.
“Children must not be the collateral damage of the commercial desire for data. In the digital age, the way children’s data are collected, shared, and used has more impact on their outcomes than almost any other factor. If it is not done responsibly, the consequences can be tragic.
“Children and their parents have long been left with all of the responsibility but none of the control over protecting children’s data. The Code will change this by forcing companies to put the ‘best interests’ of children above their own commercial interests.
“We call on the Government to bring the Code into force with the utmost urgency, and to support both the Information Commissioner and the digital sector in upholding their new and long overdue responsibilities.”
The Code contains 15 ‘provisions’ for the protection of children’s data, requiring online services to do the following:
The Molly Rose Foundation, which was set up following the suicide of British 14-year-old Molly Russell in 2017, after her family discovered that she was being auto-recommended graphic content promoting self-harm and suicide on popular social media sites Instagram and Pinterest, thanked Baroness Kidron and the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham for introducing the Code. Ian Russell, Molly’s father, welcomed the Code’s protection of children from being profiled in ways that are detrimental to their wellbeing, and said:
“We must see the end of profit from data gathering being given precedence over the safety of children. We must stop monetising misery.”
5Rights’ briefing on the Code can be found here: https://5rightsfoundation.com/uploads/5rights-briefing—aadc-final.pdf
For further comment or information, please contact 5Rights’ Policy Lead Jay Harman on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7502 3818 or 07970 393 680.