- AB 2273 requires websites to “consider the best interests of child users”
- Critics question ‘fuzzy’ aspect of new law
- Some say the requirements under the law are “impossible” to comply with
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new online data privacy law that will provide additional protections for minors using various websites and social media platforms. However, critics have raised concerns about compliance issues some smaller sites may encounter, which could lead them to compromise user anonymity.
Newsom’s office said in a statement statement On Thursday, the California Age-appropriate Design Act code (AB 2273) “requires that privacy information, terms of service, policies, and community standards be easily accessible and maintained—and responsive tools are needed to help children exercise their privacy rights.”
AB 2273 “requires online platforms to consider the best interests of children’s users and default to privacy and security settings that protect children’s mental health and well-being,” the statement said.
Under the new law, websites should limit the use of personal information provided by users under the age of 18 and refrain from collecting data related to children’s geographic location unless “absolutely necessary.”
While some praised the law, critics and digital experts raised worry The Verge reported on the bill’s broad scope and how its compliance requirements are driving smaller sites to use methods that could compromise the anonymity of users, both adults and children.
Eric Goldman, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, debate AB 2273 may pose a “greater privacy and security risk” because “age verification is generally not possible without authentication.”
in a blog post The professor, published Thursday, noted that AB 2273 has “several radical policy ideas.”
Since sites are required by law to “estimate the age of children’s users with reasonable certainty,” sites that are unable to do so appear to be in the midst of liability riskeven if they don’t have a tool to “estimate” a user’s age, says Techdirt blog editor Mike Masnick.
Masnick further noted that due to its broad nature, compliance with the law is “impossible.”
To avoid being held accountable for violating the new law, some platforms may resort to using privacy-invasive age verification policies, The Verge notes.
Set to take effect in 2024, AB 2273 The bill has been criticized by digital experts, but children’s rights groups have raved about the legislation, The New York Times reported.
The company will fine Negligence violations can result in fines of up to $2,500 per affected child, while “intentional” violations can result in fines of up to $7,500 per affected child.
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