IEEE Publishes New Standard to Address Age Appropriate Design for Children’s Digital Services
IEEE 2089™-2021 establishes a framework that can help organizations recognize and respond to the needs of children and young people.
PISCATAWAY, NJ, 30 November 2021 – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) announced the publication of IEEE 2089™-2021 – Standard for Age Appropriate Digital Services Framework – Based on the 5Rights Principles to support the growing need for designing digital products and services with the best interests of children in mind at the UNICEF Global Forum on AI for Children today.
As technology use expands across age groups, interest in age appropriate considerations geared toward young users are expected to grow among product and service providers. IEEE 2089-2021, informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and built upon the principles developed by the 5Rights Foundation, establishes a set of processes that helps enable organizations to make their services age appropriate.
Children’s data governance is of growing societal interest, impacting governments and policymakers, international institutions and civil society organizations, businesses (especially digital service providers), parents, teachers, and children. “This standard is a major step forward in the design of digital services for children, as it focuses on technology in the public interest, mitigating risks through a robust design process inclusive of diverse stakeholder representation,” said Katina Michael, Professor at Arizona State University and the IEEE 2089 Working Group Chair.
The standard was developed by a working group of experts from academia, education, design science (with an emphasis on interaction design and children), software engineering, law, law enforcement, government agencies, and social policy, as well as other industries.
“While there are localized efforts to address children’s rights and safety in digital products and services for children, there has never been consensus-driven guidance applicable on a global scale,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, Managing Director of IEEE SA. “This standard provides organizations a framework to practically orient design processes for age appropriate digital services toward responsible technological innovation inclusive of children. IEEE SA believes IEEE 2089-2021 is part of a new generation of standards that emphasize ethical alignment by design, alongside the IEEE 7000 series, and help us collectively build a better digital world for children.”
IEEE 2089-2021 encompasses the following key principles:
- Recognition that the user is a child
- Acknowledgement of the diversity of children and young people
- Presentation of information in an age appropriate way
- Utilization of fair terms appropriate for children
- Prioritization of children’s best interests over commercial interests
IEEE 2089-2021 provides recommended processes and encourages the consideration of risk mitigation and management through the life cycle of development, delivery, and distribution of digital products and services. This could address significant challenges relating to privacy, safety, trust, security, and usability among the vulnerable population of children. These design processes are expected to assist organizations to ask important risk-related questions early in the design process, assessing their digital products and services, with direct opportunities to strengthen offerings. This standard also encourages technology creators to include safeguards and other features as part of the development process, increasing the potential for a healthy and safe digital environment.
“This standard supplements the efforts from regulators to enable the design of a digital world with children in mind by providing practical guidance for achieving that aim. Because this offers a vision of what a global consensus on ‘good’ looks like, no company, international or national organization should ignore its comprehensive approach,” said Baroness Kidron, Chair of 5Rights Foundation. “For many years we have asked how to design digital services for children; the IEEE 2089 standard answers that question.”
Use and adoption of this standard helps organizations design their services with children in mind, demonstrate commitment to social responsibility, and encourage adherence to local regulatory requirements.
Because of its intended impact, this standard is being made available free of charge in the IEEE Reading Room. For more information, or to view the IEEE 2089-2021 Standard, click here.
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About the IEEE Standards Association
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