UK’s Children’s Code – Outlining the Guidelines for Age Verification

Keeping the easy access of minors to Age-Oriented (AO) platforms in view, the UK’s independent data authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), put forward a set of standards. The Age Appropriate Design Code, commonly recognized as the Children’s Code came into effect in September 2020. The prime aim of this act is to safeguard minors from falling victim to online manipulation. 

The code mandates apps and online platforms that offer digital services to map out a child’s best interest prior to granting access to minors. They should perform age verification to minimize the chances of fines worth £17.5 million. The Children’s Code provides a complete set of guidelines for minors’ protection. The blog sheds light on this age verification code and how industries can better comply with it. 

Detailed Overview of the Children’s Code

As the name may imply, the Children’s code is not a law. However, it is a set of 15 flexible standards for digital industries regarding how they should perform age checks. The Children’s Code applies to every industry operating online such as gaming, gambling, social media, and others that can be accessed by minors.

The major aim of these sets of standards is to assist digital industries in employing age verification solutions and creating a safe place for minors. If not, they should restrict minors’ access to AO platforms. The code further advocates online age verification to accurately verify customers and identify minors. This is one of the two options for e-industries. The other one is to align their services with what the Children’s Code suggests. The next section provides insight into the 15 guidelines that this ICO’s Children’s Code for age verification puts forth:

Age-Relevant Services 

Children have different needs in every stage of development. Businesses providing online services should consider these before providing complete access to end-users. For this, the businesses can either incorporate AI, age verification online or self-declaration mechanisms.

Children’s “Best Interests” 

As regulatory authorities mandate, online businesses need to perform age verification of end-users prior to allocating any service. Furthermore, the platforms should map the best interests while designing the services to align them with the guidelines of the Children’s Code. 

Services’ Transparency

As per the guidelines in the Children’s Code, businesses should provide easy-to-understand and clear information. Moreover, businesses should incorporate age verification solutions to make sure their services are child friendly.

High Privacy as Default Setting

Along with mapping the services as per requirements by the Code, businesses should have “high privacy” in place to safeguard minors. 

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA)

To ensure minors’ information is not facing data breaches, online businesses need to integrate Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPI). With DPI in services, businesses can highlight the risks minors may face in the process of age verification and data collection. 

Choice of Data Category 

As the Children’s Code suggests, online businesses need to hold minimum Personally Identifiable Information (PII) while getting the age verified. They also should provide the choice of different categories regarding the collection of data. 

Consent Before Data Transfer

This standard suggests that businesses should not circulate minors’ information among third parties. As per Shufti Pro News, they can share it between their own subsidiaries. 

The destructive use of Information 

This standard, which suggests proper and accurate age verification of end-users, also prohibits businesses from using minors’ information. Furthermore, as per the guidelines, businesses should refrain from making use of the data in ways harmful to the well-being of minors. 

Standards and Policies 

Online businesses should outline their ways to perform age checks while mapping their community standards, conditions, terms, and policies. 

Parental Controls

The code’s standards advocate that online platforms should guide and inform young customers regarding parental controls. Moreover, as an age verification technique, elders should be given access to monitor their child’s activities. 

Refrain from Urging 

Businesses should not use nudge techniques that urge the children to make decisions as per providers’ choice. 

Sketching Behavior

Businesses should turn off profiling by default to guard minors’ well-being against experiencing digital manipulations.

Linked Devices, External Links, and Toys

Children’s Code guidelines on age verification suggest businesses align the linked toys, devices, or external links as per the guidelines. 

Digital Tools

Moving on, Shufti Pro Funding indicates that businesses should employ online solutions to verify age while providing young users with tools to exercise their rights. 


Furthermore, as per guidelines by the Children’s Code, businesses need to incorporate default settings to turn off geolocation.  

It all Adds to

Age verification solutions are providing online industries with robust mechanisms to improve and enhance their customer onboarding. These solutions provide accurate verification while staying in line with the regulations and set standards. The online age verification services identify minors by employing simple steps. The system asks the end-users to fill in their information such as name and date of birth. In the next step, the end-user uploads a real-time selfie for liveness detection. Ultimately, the age verification solutions help industries draw a line between minors and age-appropriate customers. 

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