Information for Parents
Enforcing Utah's Social Media Laws
The Utah Legislature enacted SB152 and HB311 in the 2023 General Session. Social media platforms with over 5,000,000 users are regulated by those bills*. The Division of Consumer Protection is tasked with enforcing these new laws. Beginning March 1, 2024, regulated social media platforms will have new restrictions and requirements when engaging with Utah minors. First, the law now provides for enhanced access for parents by requiring that social media platforms
- obtain express parent or guardian permission before allowing minors on the platform, and
- provide parental access to the minor account, and to all posts and messages in their child's account.
In addition, the social media platforms must provide protections to minor account holders including prohibitions on
- direct messages with "non-friended" accounts,
- visibility in searches to non-friends, and
- advertising or suggested groups, products, posts, or services.
The social media platforms may not collect personal information about minors from posts or user activity.
Furthermore, minor accounts also must have a default setting that prohibits access from 10:30 PM to 6:30 AM, which can be changed by the parent or guardian.
Finally, as provided in HB311, a regulated social media platform may not use an addictive practice, design, or feature with minor account holders.
The Division of Consumer Protection is authorized to take administrative actions for violations which includes injunctive relief and fines of up to $2,500 per violation of SB152, and file civil actions for violations of SB152 or HB311. Although these new protections will not be required under the law until March 1, 2024, the Division of Consumer Protection will start collecting parental experiences or complaints about the activities of social media companies engaging with minors beginning in May of 2023.
* Many websites with social interaction features, such as online shopping, video games, scholarly research, and teleconferencing are exempted from the bills.