Staff Posts

3 Things to Know About the CA Age Appropriate Design Code

As California state legislators consider the newly proposed California Age Appropriate Design Code Bill (AB 2273), here’s why this bill is important for both the kids’ privacy and tech accountability movements.

Apr 18, 2022

In February, CA State Assemblymembers Buffy Wicks and Jordan Cunningham introduced the bipartisan California Age Appropriate Design Code Bill (AADC). The bill faces a committee vote tomorrow (April 19). Here are 3 things you should know about why Accountable Tech has joined the coalition advocating for its passage:

  1. Many social media platforms have problematic design features that can drive addictive behavior, offer unsafe or harmful material to children, and recommend kids’ profiles to unknown adults. CA AADC would require companies like Facebook and Google’s YouTube to prioritize the safety and privacy of children in the design of any digital product or service that children in California are likely to access.
  2. AADC was modeled after the UK’s age appropriate design code. Since the UK Code came into effect last Fall, some of the biggest companies in the world have already made changes. Instagram, for example, no longer allows unknown adults to direct message children under the age of 18 and Google said it would ​​stop targeted advertising to those under 18 as well – essentially, taking children out of the business model.
  3. Every day, social media companies gather large amounts of data about children, and then use this data to curate the content they see. Platforms are incentivized to keep young people hooked, so they can be served more ads and mined for more data. This is Big Tech’s toxic business model, and what we’ve been fighting to upend since Accountable Tech was founded. AADC will create structural platform changes and disincentivize Big Tech’s revenue stream.

We’ll be closely watching the committee vote along with our allies and partners who support this common sense legislation. If you live in California, you can contact your assembly member in support of the bill.

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