The United Kingdom’s data watchdog – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – has published its code of practice for online services, detailing its expectations for age-appropriate design.
The code of practice is aimed at protecting children from being negatively affected by exposure to information on social media, including platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
According to the document, this potentially includes hiding nudge techniques like Facebook’s Like button from users under 18 years old.
The ICO urges social media platforms to implement more robust age verification systems and turn off features such as location tracking by default for children, as well hiding things like the Like button which can encourage certain behaviour.
“Do not use nudge techniques to lead or encourage children to provide unnecessary personal data, weaken or turn off their privacy protections, or extend their use,” the ICO said.
Consultation on these draft regulations will last until the end of May 2019, and the finalised version of this code is expected to come into effect next year.