Insights Children’s privacy online: Information Commissioner’s Office publishes priorities for 2024/25


The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has published its priorities for the year ahead for protecting children’s personal information online. The strategy document builds on work conducted by the ICO since the introduction of the Children’s Code in September 2021.

According to the strategy document, the ICO’s principal focus will be on “driving social media and video-sharing platforms to make further progress”, given concern from the ICO that the processing of children’s personal information may not always be in their best interests and that more needs to be done to keep their personal information safe.

The ICO will pay particular attention to four areas in relation to social media and video sharing platforms: (1) ensuring that, by default, children’s profiles are private and geolocation settings are turned off; (2) protecting children from companies collecting data so as to profile them and target advertisements by ensuring that profiling is turned off by default unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise; (3) addressing the use of children’s information in recommender systems and algorithmically-generated content feeds, which not only encourage children to stay on platforms longer and “create pathways to less suitable content”, but also lead to children providing further personal information; and (4) understanding how services gain consent from parents of children under the age of 13 (who cannot consent to an online service processing their personal information) and use their age assurance technologies.

The ICO intends to publish a call for evidence on these areas in the summer, and commits to continuing to use its regulatory enforcement powers where necessary to ensure that social media and video sharing platforms work to reduce the most serious risks to children’s privacy rights.

To read the strategy document in full, click here.