The Fundamentals for a Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing

The Fundamentals for a Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing (the Fundamentals) have been drawn up by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) to drive improvements in standards of data processing. They introduce child-specific data protection interpretative principles and recommended measures that will enhance the level of protection afforded to children against the data processing risks posed to them by their use of/ access to services in both an online and offline world. In tandem, the Fundamentals will assist organisations that process children’s data by clarifying the principles, arising from the high-level obligations under the GDPR, to which the DPC expects such organisations to adhere.

The Fundamentals were first published in draft form in December 2020 and the DPC ran a public consultation on the draft version of the Fundamentals to give stakeholders a final opportunity to present their views. This final version of the Fundamentals rests heavily on significant consultations, expert input and stakeholder submissions, including from children themselves.

The digital world is central to children’s lives and the collection and use of children’s data begins at an early age continuing throughout their lifetime. Children cannot be expected to manage this process themselves, nor ensure their rights are upheld. The DPC considers that the Fundamentals will create safer, more appropriate and more privacy-respecting online environments for children to play, interact, learn and create than currently exists.

Read the DPC's finalised Fundamentals here.