You may have noticed changes to how children access or use certain websites, apps, games or online products. This is because, as of 2 September 2021, online services need to follow a set of standards when using children’s data. These standards are known as the Children’s code.
Websites and products affected by the code need to provide additional layers of protection for children’s data. This might involve restricting or removing certain features to children if they’re under 18. Some of the things you might see are:
- privacy settings being automatically set to very high;
- children and their parents/carers being given more control of the privacy settings;
- non-essential location tracking being switched off;
- children no longer being ‘nudged’ by sites through notifications to lower their privacy settings; and
- clearer and more accessible tools being in place to help children exercise their data protection rights (including parental consent tools).
These changes should result in a more positive experience for children online. For example, not having location tracking on may reduce unwanted friend recommendations from people that your child doesn’t know. It should also mean that people your child isn’t friends with shouldn’t be able to see their profile.