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Utah to require parental permission for minors to access social networking sites

The new rules will give parents more control over the content their children consume.

Niño mira teléfono.

( Pxfuel )

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Utah is the first state to require parental permission for minors to use social networking sites.

"Social networks know that their products are toxic and have designed their applications to create addiction." This is how Republican Governor Spencer Cox justified the signing of the laws that will regulate the use of the networks in this state. The new rules give more control to parents and establish a mechanism to monitor compliance.

One of the regulations, Utah Senate Bill 152, lists a number of obligations that platform-owning companies will have to comply with. They will have to verify the age of users, prohibiting access to anyone under 18 years of age who does not have the permission of their parents or legal guardians.

In addition, parents will have unrestricted access to monitor their children's accounts. Curfews will also be introduced between the hours of 10:30 pm and 6:30 am, however, responsible adults may change this limit. One of the most notable changes is that companies will not be able to store data or display advertising to young people. Any non-compliance may be reported to the Department of Commerce, which will apply penalties of up to US$2,500, or even end up in court.

Another element of Utah House Bill 311 which was also approved, seeks to protect young people from "addictive algorithms." Violations of this new standard may result in penalties of up to $250,000 (for having an addictive design) and $2,500 per affected child.

Companies have until March 1, 2024 to implement the changes. Although Governor Cox anticipates that the laws will be challenged in the courts, he has expressed his willingness to work with the social networks to begin implementing the necessary changes.