Gavin Newson, the governor of California, has signed a bill to protect minors on social networks.
AB 2273 establishes the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act which is expected to go into effect July 1, 2024.
According to a press release from Newsom’s office, it “requires online platforms to consider the best interests of child users and to default to privacy and safety settings that protect the mental health and well-being and children’s physics.
The new law aims to place additional restrictions on the type of data platforms can collect from children.
“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 causing or encouraging children to provide personal information,” Newsom’s press release reads.
Critics say the bill’s vague terms and sweeping scope make it unclear exactly what it will mean on a practical level for social media, games and other online platforms.
The specific criticism is that requiring companies to identify child users could harm the privacy of everyone, not just children.
“The bill is drafted so vaguely and broadly that it will almost certainly lead to widespread use of invasive age-verification techniques that subject children (and everyone else) to greater scrutiny while claiming protect their privacy,” Fight For the Future wrote in a statement. denounce the bill.
A state committee will deliver a more detailed report in January 2024 to propose best practices.
Newsom also signed legislation to require social media giants to post moderation rules and monitor hate speech, extremism, harassment and other objectionable behavior.
According to The edgeboth of these laws will be challenged in court with NetChoice, an internet campaign group, which has successfully fought social media laws in Texas and Florida.
“While AB 2273’s motive is well-intentioned, many of the remedies it has chosen are unconstitutional and risk unintended consequences,” says NetChoice attorney Chris Marchese.
“The law violates the First Amendment by chilling constitutionally protected speech and infringing on the editorial rights of websites, platforms, and apps of all sizes and ideologies.”
Picture credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.