Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Florida braces for lawsuits over law banning kids from social media

Ars Technica: “On Monday, Florida became the first state to ban kids under 14 from social media without parental permission. It appears likely that the law—considered one of the most restrictive in the US—will face significant legal challenges, however, before taking effect on January 1. Under HB 3, apps like Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok would need to verify the ages of users, then delete any accounts for users under 14 when parental consent is not granted. Companies that “knowingly or recklessly” fail to block underage users risk fines of up to $10,000 in damages to anyone suing on behalf of child users. They could also be liable for up to $50,000 per violation in civil penalties. In a statement, Florida governor Ron DeSantis said the “landmark law” gives “parents a greater ability to protect their children” from a variety of social media harm. Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, who spearheaded the law, explained some of that harm, saying that passing HB 3 was critical because “the Internet has become a dark alley for our children where predators target them and dangerous social media leads to higher rates of depression, self-harm, and even suicide.” But tech groups critical of the law have suggested that they are already considering suing to block it from taking effect. In a statement provided to Ars, a nonprofit opposing the law, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said that while CCIA “supports enhanced privacy protections for younger users online,” it is concerned that “any commercially available age verification method that may be used by a covered platform carries serious privacy and security concerns for users while also infringing upon their First Amendment protections to speak anonymously.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.