Age Appropriate Design Code
The Children's Code
Please Note: The following is a brief overview of the new Code and should not be used in place of professional legal advice covering your own business circumstances.
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Overview of the Age Appropriate design code
The AADC or 'Children’s code' is a code of practice that sets out how operators of Online services, likely to be accessed by children, should protect the Children in the digital world. The Children's Code came into force on 2nd September 2021
The businesses covered by the Code are called an Internet Society Service (ISS). The meaning of this is very wide indeed.
An ISS is: 'any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request of a recipient of services.'
The Data Regulator has said "essentially this means that most Online services are ISS, including apps, programs and many websites including search engines, social media platforms, online messaging or internet based voice telephony services, online marketplaces, content streaming services (E.g. video, music or gaming services), online games, news or educational websites and any websites offering other goods or services to users over the internet. Electronic services for controlling connected toys and other connected devices are also ISS."
In short, the definition of ISS covers all products and services bought or delivered via the Internet AND products which are delivered Offline. This means that, with some exceptions, if people pay for products or services on your Website then you are an ISS.
The purpose of the Code is to put in place measures to protect Children when they are using the Internet.
However, it doesn't only apply to businesses who have Children as their target market.
Here is some useful information about the AADC
The first thing all businesses must understand is:
Q. What is a Child for the purposes of the Code?
A. A person under 18 years of age.
If a business sells product or services to Children (U18's) from their Website, the requirements of the Code and all its 15 Standards will apply.
Q. What if you don't sell to Children?
A. Then you must assess whether it is LIKELY a Child may access your Services.
The word LIKELY is very wide ranging because you are assessing whether anyone up to 17 years may be sufficiently interested in what you do to access your website.
Q. What if I do sell to Children or is LIKELY they will access my Services?
A. Then you are an ISS and must adhere to the Code. This usually will require the following actions:
The Actions most businesses who sell Online will need to undertake.
1. Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) considering all aspects of your business.
2. Consider the rules applying to different ages of Children E.g. Under 13 or Under 18 etc.
3. Amend your Website to suit the outcome of the DPIA.
4. Manage Cookies and other Online Consents and keep Marketing Age Appropriate.
5. Use 'Age-Gates' where applicable on the site.