Evaluating the Argument Over the California Age Appropriate Design Code Act

Gabby Miller is Staff Writer at Tech Policy Press. On Wednesday night, California Attorney General Robert Bonta filed an appeal of a preliminary injunction issued in federal court last month that blocked the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (CAADCA). The Act is billed by its supporters as a first-in-the-nation law to protect children online, but like other state laws with similar aims, it faces opposition on First Amendment grounds. The expected appeal, filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, marks an important step in determining whether the CAADCA stands a chance at moving forward. In a press release accompanying the appeal, Attorney General Bonta argued that parents should be able to protect children as they use the internet. “Big businesses have no right to our children’s data: childhood experiences are not for sale,” Bonta said. A coalition of nearly twenty organizations – such as Fairplay, Common Sense, ParentsTogether, and 5Rights Foundation, which originally sponsored the Act – issued a letter thanking Bonta for appealing a lower court ruling that they say ignores obvious harms to kids in favor of protecting the interests of tech firms.   The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB-2273) was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, on Sept. 15, 2022. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Assemblymembers Buffy Wicks (D-CA14) and Jordan Cunningham (R-CA35) and passed unanimously in the California legislature, was set to take effect on July 1, 2024. The Act would require online businesses likely to be accessed by…Evaluating the Argument Over the California Age Appropriate Design Code Act