ICO regulatory sandbox to focus on children’s privacy and data sharing

UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that it will re-open its regulatory sandbox with a focus on children’s privacy and data sharing.

The regulatory sandbox is a free service, which has been designed by the non-departmental public body for supporting organisations that use personal data for developing innovative products and services.

The regulator will accept applications from all types of organisations, including start-ups and SMEs across private, public, and voluntary sectors, for taking part in the regulatory sandbox.

ICO said that the projects to be submitted this year under the regulatory sandbox should be focused on either of the two themes – data sharing or children’s privacy.

According to the regulatory office, the projects have to be at the cutting edge of innovation and may be operating in especially challenging areas of data protection, where there is a genuine lack of certainty regarding how compliance can be.

In particular, the ICO said that it looking to hear from innovators focusing on the issues arising from the implementation of its Age Appropriate Design Code. The regulator said that it will also be interested to consider products and services designed for supporting sharing of complex data in the public interest.

The regulatory sandbox is said to help organisations to work through how they make use of personal data in their projects with the ICO’s specialist staff to help make sure that they are in compliance with data protection rules. Furthermore, it also gives organisations reassurance from enforcement action, where possible, and increased public trust that innovative products and services are not in violation of data protection laws.

ICO Regulatory Assurance Director Ian Hulme said: “Protecting children’s privacy online is a high priority for the ICO. Ultimately the regulatory sandbox aims to support innovators to improve confidence amongst children, young people and their parents and carers that their personal information is being properly protected when they are online.

“On data sharing our aim is to promote and enable confident, responsible and lawful data sharing in the wider public interest. In particular, the regulatory sandbox aims to help demonstrate that data protection legislation is not a barrier to proportionate sharing of personal data.”

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