University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


Cybersecurity is the safeguarding of computer systems and networks against information disclosure, theft, or damage to users’ hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as disruption or misdirection of the services computers and networks provide. Knowing privacy would be breached due to the impact of COVID, in 2020, the United Kingdom got ahead of the game and passed rules/regulations requiring online services to protect children under the age of eighteen from scams, phishing, and security attacks. However, currently, the United States does not have a sufficient uniform privacy law governed to protect children under the age of eighteen from cybersecurity threats. Instead, the majority of regulations are handled on a state-by-state basis, and unlike the UK most regulations are not specifically intended to protect children. Fortunately, in 2022, California signed into law an act that requires businesses that provide an online service, product, or feature likely to be accessed by children to comply with specified requirements to safeguard against hackers.

This Note will begin by describing how and why the United Kingdom’s regulations work to protect children from security risks. It then provides an overview of the US legislative framework at the federal and state levels contending that a piecemeal approach leaves children at risk. Although some states have enacted protective legislation, it demonstrates that many have not gone far enough and identified one state, California, as the best practice. This Note concludes by comparing the United Kingdom’s and California’s Age- Appropriate Design Codes for users under the age of eighteen and recommends that the rest of the United States should combine the two approaches to create a uniform legislative framework at the federal level that requires businesses that develop online services to provide a high-privacy default standard, where children’s personal data is only visible or accessible to other users of the service if the parents amend their settings to allow this via an age assurance security check.