Newsletter (issue no. 7) - What to know about California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act
October 21, 2022
Welcome back to a new issue of Recoding Tech’s newsletter. Together with the website, each recoding.tech newsletter offers relevant analyses and highlights of the policy discussions, research, and news that are reshaping the rules for Big Tech.
What to know about the California Age-Appropriate Design Code
AB-2273, the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AADC), is a newly passed law in California. It requires businesses that provide an online service, product, or feature likely to be accessed by children “prioritize the privacy, safety, and well-being of children over commercial interests.” The code is based on the Age Appropriate Design Code (Children’s Code) enacted in the United Kingdom and seeks to establish a basic duty of care for online products and services that are accessed or likely to be accessed by children. It calls on companies to “consider the best interests of children when designing, developing, and providing” an online service, product, or feature.”
We take a look at what the new law gets right, what aspects of it may be problematic, and what’s next for its implementation and enforcement.
How governments are recoding tech
Recoding.tech is tracking existing and proposed laws and regulations, along with government investigations and litigation from across the U.S. and Europe. Here are the new additions and updates. You can view all the actions being tracked on recoding.tech using our law & regulation tracker.
California moves closer to enforcing its new privacy law. In 2018, California passed the strictest privacy law in the U.S., the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Then in 2020, voters approved Proposition 24, the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, establishing the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) to implement and enforce the Act. The CPPA commenced the formal rulemaking process this summer and just released a text of the proposed regulations. A helpful overview of the draft regulations is available here.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, cited California’s privacy law as the main reason for her opposition to H.R. 8152, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act. That proposed legislation conditioned stronger national privacy protections on the preemption of competing state laws. An article from Danielle Citron and Alison Gocke discusses why Pelosi and other representatives from California opposed the bill and a potential fix to gain their support.
Digital Markets Act is official in Europe, and the Digital Services Act is soon to follow. The Digital Markets Act was published in the Official Journal of the EU on October 12. It will enter into force in November and become applicable on May 2, 2023. In the meantime, the European Commission will begin efforts to implement the Act’s regulations. The European Council approved the Digital Services Act on October 4, and it will be published in the Official Journal of the EU later this month or the next. Once published, the EU and member states must tackle essential questions about its enforcement. Dr. Julian Jaursch has compiled a list of open questions on the enforcement, delegated and implementing acts, potential codes of conduct, and voluntary standards mentioned in the DSA that will more clearly define certain aspects of the law.
Canada debates Online News Act. This week, the Canadian Parliament held a hearing on the Online News Act, which would require Facebook and other large social media companies to enter into financial agreements with publishers in exchange for news shared by users on their platforms. A helpful summary of the bill is available here. In September, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the U.S. advanced a revised version of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. It also seeks to replicate the News Bargaining Code enacted in Australia last year, but includes language that could severely restrict content moderation by platforms and has no requirements to ensure funds support journalists and news production.
Highlights from research, policy papers, and news/commentary
Recoding Tech curates a collection of academic and civil society research, policy papers, investigative journalism, and op-eds. These articles illuminate what’s wrong with Big Tech’s platforms and business models, debate policy options that could address the problems, and make recommendations for government action. You can explore the entire collection in our library.
The Rise of ‘Luxury Surveillance' — The Atlantic
Information Warfare and Wikipedia — Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Where Conspiracy Theories Flourish: A Study of YouTube Comments and Bill Gates Conspiracy Theories — Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review
New EU Rules for Digital Services: Why Germany Needs Strong Platform Oversight Structures — Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
She Drops: How QAnon Conspiracy Theories Legitimize Coordinated and Targeted Gender Based Violence — Institute for Strategic
Effectiveness of the Sanctions on Russian State-Affiliated Media in the EU – Institute for Strategic Dialogue