Belfast design firm Big Motive recognised for work in support of ICO's Children's Code

The Big Motive team who worked on the ICO project (L-R): Maíra Rahme, Jonathan Willis, Carol McHugh, Rebecca Walsh, Rachel Orr and Stephen Shaw.

THE Belfast design company behind the Stop Covid NI app has been recognized its work in helping tech firms understand new rules to protect children online.

Big Motive was acknowledged by the Irish Design Institute for its work creating design guidance for a new statutory code of practice launched by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) called the Children's Code.

The code, which sets out how apps, and online services likely to be accessed by children should protect them in the digital world, has already led to changes from Google, Facebook and TikTok.

The ICO is the independent UK authority that upholds information rights and data privacy for individuals. Its code states that children's personal data should be given special treatment when using apps, games, social media platforms, marketplaces and websites and applies to any firm that processes the personal data of children in the UK.

The ICO engaged Big Motive to develop resources that would show how to apply the standards in practice and design services with children's privacy in mind.

Ali Shah, head of technology policy at the ICO, said: “Big Motive has worked seamlessly with the ICO's team to deliver the Children's code UX guidance and we're delighted that the value of the work has been recognised by the design community.

“It is gratifying that the judges acknowledged that the work will deliver lasting change that will serve the public interest by creating an open, transparent and safe place for children online.”

Rebecca Walsh, director of Big Motive, added: “One in five people who use the internet is a child but the internet was never designed with them in mind. Product teams now have an opportunity to reset how they design online services placing children's privacy at the centre.”

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