Statements
2022

With Governor Newsom’s Signature, California Becomes the First State in the U.S. to Protect Kids and Teens Online

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2022
Contact: press@accountabletech.org

 

The California Age Appropriate Design Code Act will spur dramatic changes in social media platforms’ targeting and manipulation of youth 

Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Age Appropriate Design Code Act (AADC) into law, a first-of-its-kind measure requiring online platforms to protect the health, safety, and privacy of children and teens by design. The bill — which has received overwhelming support from parents, youth advocates, and tech accountability groups — takes direct aim at exploitative Big Tech business models that rely on collecting and selling intimate user data and manipulating and profiling young people for profit. This signing marks a major victory for kids and teens in California, and represents a historic step forward for tech accountability more broadly.

Accountable Tech Co-Founder and Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement:

“This is a monumental win for kids, teens, and families in California and across our nation. For years, Big Tech companies have quietly preyed on young people online, harvesting and collecting their intimate data for profit and designing platforms to keep them clicking – regardless of the threats to their health, privacy, and safety. In signing the California Age Appropriate Design Code Act into law, Governor Newsom is sending a clear message to Big Tech: Put our children over your profits.

This new law will upend the status quo and take real steps to stop pervasive surveillance, profiling, and manipulation of kids online. It also will serve as a transformative model for other states and countries, so that every child is protected from Big Tech’s abuse and exploitation – not just those in California.

We are thrilled to celebrate this landmark victory for youth in California and around the country, and we applaud Governor Newsom for championing consumer rights and standing up for the interests of the next generation. This is the beginning of a new era for online accountability.”

Background on the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act:

  • Polling from Accountable Tech + Data For Progress shows 90% of California voters support the AADC. Last year, AT commissioned a separate, nationwide poll of parents that found equally overwhelming support for expanding minors’ online protections.

  • Working with youth advocacy groups LOG OFF and Tech(nically) Politics, AT supported the launch of ‘Design It For Us’, an innovative multimedia effort for young people to share why online spaces should be designed with them in mind.

  • AT has helped hundreds of young Californians make their voices heard in support of the bill through petitions, storytelling, and contact-your-legislator tools – part of AT’s ongoing work to ensure young people have a seat at the table.

  • Learn more about the Design Code, and the sweeping coalition of advocates who have endorsed it, at CaliforniaAADC.com.

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