UK Children’s Code creates waves internationally

The UK Information Commissioner shares experience with UNICEF, US lawmakers and industry. Laura Linkomies reports on recent developments and ICO enforcement.

When drafting the Children’s’ Code, the ICO knew that its success would depend on how well it would be received internationally, Information Commissioner John Edwards said. The Code, which was adopted before his term and became enforceable 2 September 2021, is now influencing legislators and ­companies internationally.

“The digital world is borderless, and so many of the online services children access are based outside of the UK,” Edwards writes in his blog. He was due to visit the US in April, and said that “our international work in Washington and beyond has never been more important.”

Edwards said he is pleased to see that “California is now looking to introduce a children’s code of its own, with progress too in the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Canada and Australia. The more other countries require companies to protect children’s data, the more children in the UK are protected. That is why the ICO was in San Francisco two years ago, speaking with lawmakers, to encourage them to be inspired by our code.”

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