Statement on Lawsuit Filed by Lobbyists for Big Tech Seeking to Block the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act

Common Sense Media
Thursday, December 15, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 15, 2022— Today, James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media issued the following statement in response to a lawsuit filed by lobbyists for Big Tech seeking to block The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act. Common Sense was a lead sponsor for the bipartisan California legislation.

"This desperate lawsuit filed by big tech's lobbyists is a slap in the face to parents everywhere, particularly those who have tragically lost children to the harms associated with social media. The message this lawsuit sends to parents is that the well-being of their children is not their concern and that it is more important, for the purposes of enlarging their profits, to maintain their ability to collect young user's data and manipulate it to amplify harmful content such as videos promoting eating disorders and self-harm without any accountability.

"The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act won bipartisan and unanimous support from both houses of the state legislature. It was based on the children's online safety rules that the United Kingdom implemented last year, reinforcing the fact that mass data collection and harmful platform design is a global problem. Whether children are safe online should not have to depend on where they live.

"Many big tech companies have been making intentional design choices with their platforms for years in the name of profits and engagement, without regard for children's well-being. We have let platforms get away with harmful practices for far too long. The California design code law is one step toward ending that practice. We look forward to it remaining the law of the land and to working on additional protections for children and teens in the upcoming legislative session."

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