We Need to Keep Kids Safe Online: California has the Solution

We have a Tech Crisis

Every day children are using a digital world that is designed by and for adults, where they are nudged to give up their privacy, offered harmful material, and exposed to risky contacts and behaviors.

To protect Californian children’s privacy and safety online, California State Assembly members Buffy Wicks (D) and Jordan Cunningham (R) have introduced the bipartisan California Age Appropriate Design Code Bill (AB 2273).

With this Bill, California has the chance to lead the way in making the digital world safe for American children.

A child seeing a distorted reflection of themselves in a smartphone

The digital world California young people and parents want

On March 29 2022, the GoodforMEdia team provided testimony to the State Assembly on how to improve online experiences for young people. Hear more from young people or share your story.

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Teens Speak Out

Young people call for a design code.

What would the Kids Code do?

If the California Age Appropriate Design Code were passed into law, companies would have to consider the privacy and protection of children in the design of any digital product or service that children in California are likely to access.

We know the practical impact this can have on children, because the Bill is based on a UK law that has already prompted Silicon Valley’s biggest names to innovate in the best interests of UK children. For instance:

  • Google have made SafeSearch the default browsing mode for all under 18s.
  • YouTube have turned off autoplay for under 18s and break and bedtime reminders are turned on by default.
  • TikTok and Instagram have disabled direct messages between children and adults they do not follow.
  • The Google Play Store now prevents under 18s from viewing and downloading apps rated as adult-only.

These are just a handful of changes that will make children’s experience online safer.

We have a Tech Crisis

Californian children deserve these protections too.

Support for the California Age Appropriate Design Code

What people are saying about the Bill

#NEW: FPF's @keir_lamont takes an in-depth look at the state #privacy landscape as we head into 2023.

Read Keir’s response to the below question as well as ones related to #health #data, #ADPPA, & the #CAKidsCode Act on the FPF Blog:

For far too long, social media companies have prioritized profits over the well-being of children.

The passage of the #CAKidsCode has helped set the stage for a new era in online accountability and changes from platforms to mitigate harms to kids. https://techcrunch.com/2022/11/21/meta-rolls-out-new-privacy-updates-teens-instagram-facebook/

Great write-up by @AustinJ_Reports and @PluribusNews. A safer internet for our youth coming to a state near you! #AB2273 #CAKidsCode @5RightsFound

#KidsOnlineSafetyAct (#KOSA) This is just pure scum. "Think of the Children" groups and their #EARNITAct #PROTECTAct #AB2273 #CAKidsCode are dangerous; they'll do ANYTHING to harm LGBT people under the pretense of saving kids. #StopInternetCensorship

Mike Stabile @mikestabile

Axios reporting that the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) will be folded into a larger omnibus bill later this year. The bill, which ostensibly protects children from harmful content, could result in widespread censorship of sex work and LGBTQ content.

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How can I support the California Age Appropriate Design Code?

Call your legislator

Californians, use this call tool to contact Assemblymembers.

Download social media toolkit

Download our pack of shareable assets to help spread the message about the Bill.