September 2021

Children’s Code Comes Into Force

The Molly Rose Foundation is pleased to be among the signatories to a letter in the Times, supporting the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code as it comes into force in the UK. This landmark legislation has already motivated the platforms to make changes that help make the internet a safer place for young people.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Thursday September 02 2021

Sir, Today the Age Appropriate Design Code (Children’s Code) comes into force in the UK. This ground-breaking legislation requires the tech sector to protect children’s privacy, safety and wellbeing in products and services likely to be accessed by children and young people under 18.

The code has already prompted tech companies to ban direct messages from adult strangers to minors, stop targeted advertising at children, enact stronger age assurance and filter explicit content by default. This has resulted in a series of wellbeing measures being put in place, with more changes on the way.

For too long children have been tracked, exploited and harmed online. The Children’s Code shows that technology companies are able to function even when regulation requires them to protect children. When the government acts, the tech sector can and will change. This code will cement the UK’s reputation as the global leader in child online protection and marks a new era of responsibility from the tech industry.

Baroness Kidron, chairwoman, 5Rights Foundation (signatory to the code); Carnegie UK; John Carr, UK Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety; Sarah de Carvalho, CEO, It’s a Penalty; Lord Clement-Jones (signatory to the code); Damian Collins MP, chairman, Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill; the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York (signatory to the code); Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England; Deborah Denis, CEO, Lucy Faithfull Foundation/Stop it Now! UK and Ireland; Patricia Durr, CEO, ECPAT UK (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking); Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England; Lord Gilbert of Panteg, chairman, Communications and Digital Committee; Baroness Harding of Winscombe (signatory to the code); Liam Hackett, CEO, Ditch the Label; Susie Hargreaves, Chief Executive, Internet Watch Foundation; Margot James, former minister for DCMS; Darren Jones MP, chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Data Poverty; Rhiannon Lawson, 5Rights trustee; Lynn Perry and Michelle Lee-Izu, co-CEOs (interim), Barnardo’s; Professor Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics; Adrian Lovett, president and CEO, World Wide Web Foundation; Louise Macdonald, 5Rights trustee; Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, 5Rights trustee; RESET UK; Lord Russell of Liverpool; Ian Russell, Molly Rose Foundation; Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (signatory to the code); Jim Steyer, Common Sense Media; Dr Howard Taylor, executive director, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children; the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK); Lord Vaizey of Didcot, former minister for DCMS; Sir Peter Wanless, CEO, NSPCC; Jeremy Wright MP, QC, former secretary of state for DCMS, chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Digital Regulation and Responsibility; Shoshana Zuboff, Harvard Business School and author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

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