California Passes Controversial Sweeping Children’s Online Safety Bill

California lawmakers on Monday passed a sweeping children’s online safety bill, The Verge reports.

The state Senate on Monday approved AB 2273, the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, sending the bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Newsom has not said whether he would sign the bill, though it likely has enough support among lawmakers to override a potential veto.

The bill is aimed at regulating how websites operate for users under 18.

The state legislature previously failed to pass a similar bill aimed at banning “addictive” site and app design for children.


The bill requires websites “likely to be accessed by children” to assess potential risks to kids.

Sites would be required to limit how much personal data it collects from underage users and avoid collecting location data unless it is “strictly necessary.”

Among a multitude of other regulations, the bill bans manipulative site design and requires stricter age verification.

Civil liberty concerns:

The bill is largely modeled after the “Children’s Code” passed by British lawmakers earlier this year.

But the sweeping nature of the legislation raised civil liberty concerns.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation warned that the bill will require sites to use invasive age verification processes, including for users outside of the state.

Legal writer Eric Goldman called the age verification requirements a “poison pill for the internet.”

Tech industry groups like NetChoice may also sue to block the bill.

“At this stage, we’re focused on Governor Newsom vetoing this dangerous legislation. When it comes to what happens if he doesn’t, we have nothing to say about that at this point,” said NetChoice spokesperson Krista Chavez.


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