Last year, California governor Gavin Newsom signed a groundbreaking privacy law that would require tech giants like Facebook to broadly protect the “best interests” of children, including by verifying their age. However, this legislation hit a major speed bump this week when a federal judge blocked it.
The law, which was set to go into effect in 2024, was challenged by a lawsuit from a group called NetChoice — an Internet trade association with members including Facebook, Google, and more. According to the group, this proposed privacy law violates Californians’ free speech rights while also improperly regulating user behavior outside of the state.
“We appreciate the district court’s thoughtful analysis of the First Amendment and decision to prevent regulators from violating the free speech and online privacy rights of Californians, their families and their businesses as our case proceeds,” NetChoice representative Chris Marchese said. “We look forward to seeing the law permanently struck down and online speech and privacy fully protected.”
Obviously, protecting children online should be a priority for lawmakers and Facebook alike. However, it seems like both parties need to work together more closely to create a lasting solution that will not get shot down in court.
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