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California Age Appropriate Design Code

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The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB-2273) was signed into law on Sept. 15, 2022. The Act is modeled after the UK’s Age-Appropriate Design Code, which is centered around 15 standards and serves as a guide for companies on how to comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation. The California Code puts forth a set of requirements and prohibitions for online services that are “likely to be accessed” by users under 18 years of age. The law is set to go into effect on July 1, 2024.

To comply with the CAADCA, online service providers, or platforms, must:

  • Set privacy settings to the highest level by default for children
  • Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)
  • Provide in clear and age-appropriate terms privacy information
  • Provide clear monitoring signals
  • Limit or stop certain targeted advertising practices toward children

The CAADCA also prohibits:

  • ‘Dark patterns’ that trick users into providing their personal information or taking actions that are “materially detrimental” to a child’s well-being
  • The collection of children’s precise geolocation data


December 14, 2022. NetChoice filed suit against California Attorney General Robert Bonta (NetChoice v. Bonta) on grounds that the CAADCA violates the First and Fourth Amendments, the Dormant Commerce Clause, the Due Process Clause, and is too vague.

September 18, 2023. US District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Beth L. Freeman granted a preliminary injunction in favor of NetChoice on the grounds that the Act violates the First Amendment.

October 18, 2023. Attorney General Bonta filed a notice of appeal to overturn the preliminary injunction.

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