Balancing the autonomy and protection of children: competency challenges in data protection law

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This article considers some complexities surrounding the determination of child competency in matters of data protection. Focusing on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) guidelines, the article highlights the apparently pivotal role competency plays in granting children the ability to exercise their data protection rights and interests. The article critically examines the inherent challenges arising from the ICO's approach, emphasizing the reliance on data controllers to independently assess the competency of child data subjects. The inherent problematic nature of this approach is scrutinized, shedding light on potential shortcomings and raising questions about the effectiveness and fairness of such assessments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation & Communications Technology Law
Early online date27 Feb 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 27 Feb 2024


  • Data Protection
  • Children’s Rights
  • Autonomy
  • Gillick Competence
  • Regulation

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