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California AG appeals decision blocking Age Appropriate Design Code

Julie Rubash, General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer
October 23, 2023

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California AG Appeals Decision Blocking Age Appropriate Design Code

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a notice of appeal seeking to overturn a preliminary injunction granted last month blocking the California Age Appropriate Design Code (CAADC), a law that was signed by Governor Newsom in 2022 and originally scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2024.

The Northern District of California decision granting the preliminary injunction found that the CAADC “likely violates the First Amendment” on the basis that the law is poorly tailored to the State’s goal of protecting children’s well-being.

The AG’s office said in its press release announcing the appeal, “we believe the district court decision is wrong, and that we should be able to protect our children as they use the internet. Big businesses have no right to our children’s data: childhood experiences are not for sale.” 

WHAT’S NEXT

The question of whether a preliminary injunction should have been granted will go to the Ninth Circuit court of appeal.

Based on the outcome of the appeal, the preliminary injunction could either be upheld (meaning that the law would continue to be paused pending the outcome of the underlying first amendment case) or overturned (meaning that the law would resume its originally scheduled effective date of July 1, 2024, unless and until the plaintiff in the case is successful in demonstrating that the law is unconstitutional).

In the meantime, companies that would be subject to the law will be in a state of limbo, waiting for answers as to whether and when the law will go into effect.   

Read more: California Governor signs bill implementing the California Age Appropriate Design Code (Sept 2022)

Senate Committee sends Three FTC nominees to the Full Senate

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted to advance three FTC nominations for a vote by the full Senate: the renomination of democrat Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and the nomination of two republicans, Melissa Holyoak, the Solicitor General of Utah, and Andrew Ferguson, Solicitor General of Virginia and a former aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

TAKEAWAY

The FTC is a bipartisan agency made up of five commissioners, no more than three of which can be from the same political party.

The current FTC Chair, Lina Kahn, and the other current Commissioner, Alvaro Bedoya, are both democrats, along with Slaughter, so the democrats will maintain their majority position on the FTC, even if the Holyoak and Ferguson nominations clear the Senate.

It is yet to be seen whether or how these nominations may impact the FTC’s privacy enforcement or rulemaking. 

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A Little Privacy, Please weekly recaps are provided for general, informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon for legal decision-making. Please consult an attorney to determine how legal updates may impact you or your business.

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