California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB 2273)

California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AB 2273)


On Monday 29th August 2022 the California State Senate approved the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act.

Both the Senate and the State Assembly did so unanimously so there is clear bi-partisan support. If signed by the Governor, the law comes into force on July 1, 2024.

What is it:

The law applies to all online services where it is reasonable to expect they are “likely to be accessed by children under 18”.

This affects most websites containing adult content accessible in California because one of the legal tests set out is whether the site is actually being routinely accessed by a significant number of children, rather than whether the site is designed for children.


The requirements for all such adult sites under the Act are to determine the age of all users with a reasonable level of certainty.

Furthermore, the new legislation mandates that sites must overhaul their privacy and safety standards based on the age verification requirement.

Potentially impacted sites will need to complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment to document any risk of material detriment to children that arises from the data management practices of the business e.g. by exposing children to harmful, or potentially harmful, content, contacts or conduct.

Among other requirements, if the end user is a child the sites must limit use of personal information (including geolocation) for any reason other than that for which that personal information was originally collected.

Adult content sites will also need to enforce published terms, policies, and community standards established by the business, including, but not limited to, privacy policies and those concerning children.


Sites must create a timed plan to mitigate or eliminate the risks.

The bill would hold violators liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per affected child for each negligent violation, or not more than $7,500 per affected child for each intentional violation.

There are 2.4m children in California, so that is theoretically fines of up to $18bn but in practical terms, easily millions of dollars.

VerifyMy services will assist adult sites in navigating and addressing many of these new legal requirements.