US State Legislators Gear Up for New Push for Age Appropriate Design Codes

2023 has been a year of strong support for our work to promote the Age-Appropriate Design Code (AADC) in the US. Firstly, we were delighted that Nichole Rocha, Head of 5Rights US, was appointed by Governor Newsom to the California Children’s Data Protection Working Group, which is tasked with delivering a report to the Legislature on recommended statutory action to better protect children online.

Looking to 2024, we’re confident it will be marked with equally positive news, as experts and individuals alike from across the country have joined the debate over corporate vs reasonable protections for kids online. Together with 60 advocacy groups and experts we have provided a response to the federal District Court’s decision in NetChoice v. Bonta, related to the legality and constitutionality of the California AADC. 13 amicus briefs were filed in support of California and the Code, representing a variety of sectors including educators, medical and legal professionals, the FTC, and 21 state Attorneys General. Arguments will be put forward later this winter or in the early spring before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. We’re hoping this strong showing of support will result in the overturning of the District Court’s tech-friendly decision for something that better protects children.

5Rights US has continued work with the Maryland, Minnesota, and New Mexico champions of the AADC and is ready for the upcoming legislative sessions in each state. Over the course of the fall, we have worked with legislators and our coalition members to build stronger coalitions on the ground locally for the support of the AADC. This has been successful in bringing additional local organizations on board to publicly support the Code – including the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians, the Maryland Psychologists Association, Maryland School Nurses Association, and the Maryland School Counselors Association.