The U.S. May Soon Learn What a ‘Kid-Friendly’ Internet Looks Like
The ADCA will launch a huge online privacy experiment
No one would describe the internet as "kid-friendly." Parents fret over how to keep their kids safe from the internet's myriad dangers, from bullies to predators to surreptitious surveillance. A new California bill is poised to remove some of the burden from parents—and force tech companies to take more responsibility to protect kids online.
This week, the California legislature voted unanimously to pass the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (ACDA). Once Governor Gavin Newsom signs the bill into law, the code will require sites and apps that serve users under 18 to “consider the best interests of children when designing, developing and providing” their products. The ADCA could be the United States' biggest step toward comprehensive online protections for kid users yet.
The ADCA comes amid growing scrutiny of the time kids spend online, what kind of data is collected about them, and how all that screen time might cause harm. Buffy Wicks, a Democrat spearheading the bill and parent of two young children, says the bill isn’t meant to clamp down on young people’s internet experience.
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