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AG Bonta Calls for Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging State’s Data Privacy Law for Children



State Attorney General Rob Bonta

By Eli Walsh
Bay City News

State Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a brief Friday asking a federal district court judge to strike down a lawsuit challenging the state’s law requiring social media companies to prioritize the privacy and safety of data collected from minors.

Assembly Bill 2733, authored by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, was signed into law last year and regulates companies that provide “an online service, product or feature likely to be accessed by children.”

The law is modeled on the United Kingdom’s Age Appropriate Design Code, which requires that businesses provide privacy protection to children by default. It also prohibits businesses from using a child’s data or information for any other reason besides the purpose for which it was collected.

While the law isn’t set to go into effect until July 1, 2024, the industry group NetChoice — representing a group of companies that include Meta, Twitter, TikTok and Amazon — filed a lawsuit arguing that it violates the First Amendment via the government controlling online speech.

“AB 2273 undermines children’s privacy by forcing sites, regardless of how secure they are, to track and store information identifying which users are children,” NetChoice argues on its website about the lawsuit. “Child predators and hackers will be drawn to less secure sites as goldmines for children’s sensitive data.”

Bonta is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. In his brief, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, he argued that the law does not violate free speech rights because it does not regulate or restrict social media content for any user and does not conflict with existing federal law.

“This is not about free speech: the companies challenging this law are doing so because they want to continue to make money from our kids’ online activity,” Bonta said. “In California, it is no longer business as usual when it comes to designing online services, products, and features that are accessed by kids – it’s time to elevate and protect children’s privacy and safety.”

A hearing on Bonta’s brief and request to dismiss the lawsuit is scheduled for July 27, 2023, according to the Northern District of California.

The post AG Bonta Calls for Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging State’s Data Privacy Law for Children first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.


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