California Should Pass Bill to Increase Online Privacy Protections for Children

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (May 18, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) supports the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB 2273) to develop robust standards of privacy protections online for children.

CA AB 2273 enhances already existing consumer privacy law in California, requiring that a business that provides goods, services, and/or features accessible to a child must consider the best interest of the child during the design and development stage, conduct data protection impact assessments, and maintain the highest level of privacy possible for a child. Further, the business must not use the child’s personal information in any harmful way, disclose the child’s information without a compelling reason, and collect geolocation by default or without providing notice that it’s being collected. To assist businesses in these new requirements, the bill also creates a task force to develop best practices, support business implementation, and adopt regulations and publish guidelines.

“As the bill notes, the increasing presence of children in the digital world must be met with stronger policies to better protect kids online. This is a significant act for the state of California, in part because it extends its already strong privacy laws to those under 18, but more importantly, because it is the heart of internet businesses and the home of Silicon Valley. Directing businesses to follow these guidelines here will eventually lead to stronger federal laws regarding children’s privacy online,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

A report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) found that online enticement—someone enticing a child to share sexually explicit images, meeting in person for sexual purposes, or engaging a child in a sexual conversation—increased 97.5% percent between 2019 and 2020. Most predators were individuals unknown to the children in real life.

“These findings signify the need to address the safety of children in a world where their vulnerability makes them susceptible to harm. We hope California will lead the nation in protecting children from online harms by passing AB 2273,” Hawkins added.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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