Governor Newsom Signs Nation’s First Bill Protecting Children’s Data and Online Privacy

AB 2273 requires online platforms to consider the best interests of child users and protect their mental health and well-being

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he has signed landmark bipartisan legislation to protect the well-being, data and privacy of children using online platforms. AB 2273 by Assemblyman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), establishes the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which requires online platforms to consider the best interests of child users and to adhere by default to privacy and safety frameworks that protect the mental and physical health and well-being of children.

“We are taking aggressive action in California to protect the health and well-being of our children,” Governor Newsom said. “As a father of four, I know the real issues our kids face online, and I’m grateful to Wicks and Cunningham Assemblymen and the tech industry for pushing these protections and for having put the well-being of our children first.”

AB 2273 prohibits companies that provide online services, products, or features that may be accessible by children from using a child’s personal information; collect, sell or keep a child’s geolocation; profile a default child; and solicit or encourage children to provide personal information.

The bill also requires that privacy information, terms of use, policies and community standards be easily accessible and adhered to – and requires responsive tools to help children exercise their privacy rights. The bipartisan legislation strikes a balance that protects children and ensures that tech companies will have clear rules of conduct that will allow them to continue to innovate.

“As a parent, I am terrified of the effects of technology addiction and saturation on our children and their mental health. While social media and the internet are integral to how we as a global community connect and communicate, our children still deserve real safeguards like AB 2273 to protect their well-being as they grow and grow. grow,” said first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “I greatly appreciate the leadership and partnership of the Governor, Assemblyman Cunningham and Assemblyman Wicks in ensuring that technology companies are held accountable for the online spaces they design and the how these spaces affect children in California.

The Children’s Data Protection Task Force will be established under California’s Age Appropriate Design Code Act to report to the Legislature by January 2024 on the best implementation practices.

AB 2273 requires companies with an online presence to conduct a data protection impact assessment before offering new online services, products or features that may be available to children.

“As a mother of two young girls, I am personally driven to ensure that Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies redefine their products in the best interests of children,” said Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks ( D-Oakland). “Today, California is leading the way in making the digital world safe for American children, becoming the first state in the nation to require tech companies to install guardrails on their apps and websites for users of under 18. The design code is a game-changer, and a major step forward in creating a global standard for protecting young people online.

“I am very pleased for our children that the governor signed AB 2273, requiring that online platforms accessible to children be designed with their age in mind,” said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo County). “With this law, California is leading the nation in creating a safe new online experience for children. We still have work to do to address the youth mental health crisis. In particular, we know that some Big Tech social media companies are designing their products for drug-addicted children, and a significant number of these children are suffering severe harm as a result…such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, eating disorders. Protecting children online isn’t just common sense, it will save lives.

Provided to the Attorney General, data protection impact assessments must identify the purpose of the online service, product or feature, how it uses children’s personal information, and the risks of material harm to children. children that arise from data management practices.

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