California Age Appropriate Design Code

Unanimously passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law in September 2022, the California Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) is a landmark bipartisan law to protect kids online by design and by default. The AADC is first-of-its-kind legislation, giving children high privacy for their personal data, and instructing companies to change features that use data to expose children to risks and intrusion. The California AADC was inspired by the UK’s AADC, which has already produced significant changes from Big Tech companies to protect kids online including:

  • Instagram will no longer allow unknown adults to direct message under 18s
  • TikTok users under the age of 16 will have the accounts set to private by default.
  • Google will stop targeted advertising to under 18s, taking children out of the business model. They have also introduced safe search by default.
  • YouTube will remove auto-play, to prevent children being fed endless videos.

The California AADC goes into effect in 2024. The legislation has already inspired similar legislation in states across the country.

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