In September 2020, the California legislature sent a bill to the Governor’s desk which would bar a social media company from opening an account for anyone it “actually knows” is under the age of 13, absent parental consent. The bill, passed with bipartisan support within the legislature, aims to bring social media companies in line with existing federal and California law requiring parental consent before a minor’s personal information is obtained online or sold. (The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) prohibits companies from selling a minor’s personal information without obtaining the authorization of the consumer’s parent or guardian if the business has actual knowledge the consumer is less than 16 years old.) The bill would allow parents to give consent by signing a form, providing online payment information which would notify the parent of each separate transaction made on the account, calling a toll-free number or connecting via videoconference to give consent, or providing a copy of an identification card, among others. The bill would also prohibit the business from using or retaining this information for any purpose other than obtaining the required consent for the minor to use the platform.

If signed into law by the Governor, the Parent’s Accountability and Child Protection Act would take effect July 1, 2021.

To read the full text of the law follow the link below.