ICO publishes updated Commissioner’s Opinion on age assurance for the Children’s code

The Information Commissioner’s Office has renewed its 2021 age assurance Opinion with an updated version reflecting developments over the past two years.

The updated Opinion:

  • gives guidance on what online services must do if they are likely to be accessed by children;
  • reflects the technological developments in this area; and
  • explains legislative developments and how organisations can meet their data protection obligations whilst also complying with the Online Safety Act 2023.

Age assurance is an important part of the ICO’s world-leading Children’s code. The Opinion explains how age assurance can form part of a necessary and proportionate approach to reducing or eliminating risks and conforming to the code. It also sets out how the Information Commissioner expects online services to apply age assurance measures that are appropriate for their use of children’s data.

The ICO committed to review and update the Opinion when it was first published, to help organisations understand how to approach age assurance and respond to ongoing developments in technology, legislation, policy and attitudes.

The regulator has held focus groups, published a call for evidence and engaged with innovators, experts, technologists and organisations. It has conducted voluntary audits, reviewed how online services identify risks to children, conducted research projects and engaged with Ofcom to ensure alignment between the age assurance requirements of the code and the Online Safety Act 2023.

The ICO continues to keep new developments under review and is committed to supporting organisations to ensure that information rights online are protected.

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