California will be the first state to require online companies to prioritize kid safety as it passes a bill to protect children’s privacy online. This will ensure online companies are not able to profile children or use personal information in ways that could harm children physically or mentally.
According to California Gov. Gavin Newsom legislators are “taking aggressive action in California to protect the health and wellbeing of our kids.”
He signed the bill, noted “I’m familiar with the real issues our children are experiencing online.”
Tech companies are required to provide online services attractive to children to follow age-appropriate design code principles aimed at keeping children safe once the bill is passed.
Companies will have to submit a “data protection impact assessment” to the state’s attorney general before offering new online services, products, or features attractive to children.
Meta, Facebook parent company, said it has concerns about some of the provisions of this law, but believes that lawmakers are motivated to keep children safe online.
Further mentioned “We believe young people should have consistent protections across all apps and online services they use, which is why we support clear industry standards in this area. It called the law “an important development towards establishing these standards.”
California designed the measure in reference to legislation passed in the UK. The law requires internet companies with products targeted at children to design those products with the best interests of children in mind. Some of the U.S.’s most valuable technology companies have started to do this since the law was passed.
With this new act, social media companies will have to be transparent in how and when they remove disturbing content. This law comes shortly after the bill requiring them to provide details on how and when such disturbing content is removed.
State legislation was introduced this year to ban social media companies from adopting features that cause children to become addicted, but the bill failed.
As parents, the challenge of protecting children online resonated deeply with Newsom and Wicks.
Siebel Newsom said in supporting the bill, though she acknowledged that, “I am terrified of the effects technology addiction and saturation are having on our children and their mental health. Siebel Newsom said in supporting the bill, though she acknowledged that “social media and the internet are integral to the way we as a global community connect and communicate.”
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