California will adopt a new approach to protecting children on the Internet. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday that could change social networks, games and other services used by minors.
Despite backlash from the tech industry, the state legislature unanimously approved the bill in late August.
It is the first state bill in the nation to require online services that may be used by youth to implement broad safeguards for users under 18.
Among other things, the measure will require websites and apps to limit the risks of some popular features – such as allowing strangers to message each other.
It will also require online services to enable higher privacy settings by default for children.
"We are taking aggressive action in California to protect the health and well-being of our children," Gov. Newsom said in a statement announcing the new law as "bipartisan legislation" aimed at protecting the well-being, data and of the private life.
It's called the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, and it forces online services to take a proactive approach to safety – designing their products and features from the ground up with the "best interests" of young users in mind.