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On January 18, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published an updated Opinion on age assurance for the Children’s Code (the “Opinion”). The Children’s Code is a statutory code of practice setting out how information society services likely to be accessed by children should protect children’s information rights online.

According to the ICO, the Opinion was renewed following engagement with “innovators, experts, technologists and organisations,” and takes into account developments that have occurred since the Opinion was first published in 2021. The ICO also stated that it had conducted voluntary audits, reviewed how online services identify risks to children, conducted research projects, and engaged with Ofcom (the UK regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries) to ensure alignment between the age assurance requirements of the Code and the Online Safety Act 2023.

The updated Opinion provides guidance to online service providers as to their responsibilities if they are likely to be accessed by children, and explains how organizations can meet their data protection obligations while also complying with the Online Safety Act 2023, as well as reflecting recent technological developments.

Read the updated Opinion.