FPF’s Analysis of Utah bills SB 152 and HB 311 (subsequently signed into law), Proposals to Require Web Services to Verify Users’ Ages, Obtain Parental Consent to Process Teens’ Data
The Utah legislature introduced two similar, competing bills that seek to regulate online experiences for Utah users.
SB 152 would require social media companies to verify the age of all Utah users and require parental consent for users under 18 to have an account. The bill would also require social media companies to provide a parent or guardian access to the content and interactions of an account held by a Utah resident under the age of 18. On February 13, SB 152 was amended to replace the prescriptive requirements for age verification (e.g. requirements that companies obtain and retain a government-issued ID) with verification methods established through rulemaking, but concerns remain that a rulemaking process could nonetheless require privacy-invasive age verification methods.
Utah HB 311, as originally introduced, would have required social media companies to verify the age of all Utah residents, require parental consent before users under 18 create an account, and would also prohibit social media companies from using “addictive” designs or features. On February 9, the bill was amended to remove the age verification and parental consent provisions; the provisions regarding design features remain, as does a private right of action. The amended bill passed the Utah House and moved to the Senate, where it will be considered alongside Utah SB 152.
FPF shared our analysis of these bills last week.