Bills require age verification for all users; parental approval for minors
S.B. 152 requires anyone under the age of 18 to seek parental consent in order to register a social media account. The bill will also give parents access to all posts and messages under the teen’s account and will require social media sites to verify the age of all users on their platform.
H.B. 311 creates a private right of action for Utahns to sue social media for any addiction, financial, physical, or emotional harm attributed to social media use.
“Requiring age verification is going to impact the privacy of all users in Utah, because social media sites will be forced to gather additional personal information,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “But the biggest victim of today’s legislation is going to be young adults living in a household without supportive parents. For young people who identify as LGBTQ or who live in abusive households, these bills could isolate them from supportive communities online.”
Studies have shown that social media can be a positive factor in children’s lives. A recent Pew study found that majorities of teens say social media provides them with a space for connection, creativity and support. The study surveyed teens between the ages of 13 to 17.
Social media can also be a lifeline for young people who live in households without supportive parents. Last month, news broke about a pair of Utah siblings who were court ordered to return to their abusive father. Barricading themselves in their room, the teens used TikTok to mobilize supporters in their defense.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.
Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.