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NetChoice Urges Court to Halt Law in CA Eroding First Amendment Rights, Privacy

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Today, NetChoice is urging the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to stop the state’s “Age Appropriate Design Code” from going into effect while our case, NetChoice v. Bonta, moves through the legal system. 

The hearing will begin at 1:30 PM Pacific Time. There is not a live stream or audio option available at this time.

“Freedom of speech and online privacy are both under serious threat in California. By giving the government power to censor what information appears online and forcing all websites to collect everyone’s sensitive personal data, this law chills speech and puts the safety of all Californians, especially children, in jeopardy. We’re confident the court will side with the First Amendment and enjoin it,” said Chris Marchese, Director of the NetChoice Litigation Center. 

Our case argues that in passing AB 2273, California has violated:

  • The First Amendment: The law will give the California government the power to suppress constitutionally protected speech, control the moderation, curation, and dissemination of online speech, and deputize private businesses and website operators “to act as roving Internet censors at the state’s behest.”
  • The Commerce Clause: The law regulates conduct outside the borders of California. 
  • The Supremacy Clause: The law is preempted by COPPA, a federal statute that expressly prohibits states from imposing liability in the way AB 2273 threatens to do.
  • The Fourth Amendment: It violates the Fourth Amendment by forcing online services to reveal private information to the government.

Our petition has been supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The New York Times & Student Press Law Center, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (“CCIA”), Chamber of Progress and Eric Goldman, Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law. 

This law would also unfortunately harm the safety and security of all Californians, including children—undermining the stated goal of the law

  • AB 2273 undermines children’s privacy by forcing sites, regardless of how secure they are, to collect and store the sensitive, personal data of website visitors of all ages every time they visit a website.
  • Child predators, hackers and other bad actors will be drawn to less secure sites as goldmines for children’s sensitive data. The law also leaves adults—and minors—vulnerable to identity theft. 
  • This type of government-mandated data collection puts everyone—but especially minors—at significant risk, especially in an era when the hacking of sensitive information online is becoming more common and sophisticated. 

You can find our request for a preliminary injunction here and a web page detailing our case resources for NetChoice v. Bonta here.

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.