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DPC to conduct review of apps and websites targeting children

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The Data Protection Commissioner, in partnership with the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), is to conduct a review of apps and websites which target children.

The primary focus of this audit is on the data privacy practices of these websites and apps which are popular among children.

The theme this year was chosen among the 26 participating data protection authorities from around the world, with the investigation taking place between the 11th and the 15th of May 2015.

The intention will be to constructively engage with those organisations whose apps or websites are in breach of the legislation, and to aid those companies in ensuring compliance through an outreach program.

This initiative is interesting on a number of levels. Firstly it is aimed as an education piece, targeting a specific industry but in a constructive and informative manner. Secondly, it mimics the known practices of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, one which is welcome in its progressive approach and constructive principles.

GPEN was established in 2008, following recommendations from the OECD. The intention is to foster better cross-border cooperation among DPAs. This is in line, as well, with the acknowledgment that data must flow across borders in as seamless a way as possible, without prejudice to the law.

Approximately 50 DPAs across some 39 jurisdictions are involved in this informal network.