Utah have passed to major new bills aimed at protecting minors on social media. The Social Media Regulation Act and the Social Media Regulations Amendments were signed into law by Utah’s Governor on March 23. They will take effect from March 1 2024.
This Act looks at social media companies liability. Specifically, this Act makes companies liable for any practices, designs, or features that cause ‘a minor to have an addiction to the company’s social media platform’. Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection will be able to take regulatory action but citizens will also be able to take action and collect damages if harm is caused to minors due to a companies actions.
These amendments’ aim is to protect minors from online predators and inappropriate content. Any companies that these amendments are applicable to will now be expected to take steps and measures to protect under-18s living in Utah.
Companies will now have to:
- Verify the age of Utah residents seeking to maintain or open a social media account
- Obtain the consent of a parent/guardian before a Utah resident under the age of 18 can maintain or open an account
- Deny accounts to anyone that doesn’t meet the age requirements
- Impose restrictions to accounts held by a Utah minor, such as:
- Prohibit direct messaging with certain accounts
- A minor’s accounts may not show in search results
- No advertising displayed to minors
- Personal information cannot be collected, shared or used from minor’s accounts, with certain exceptions
- No targeted or suggested ads, accounts or content
- Limits on hours of access, subject to parent/guardian direction
- Provide parents/guardians access to the content and interactions of accounts held by minors in Utah
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