Louisiana Passes Bill That Would Require Parental Consent for Kids’ Online Accounts

Over the last year, state legislators concerned about a mental health crisis among the nation’s young people have passed a raft of children’s online safety measures. A new Utah law would require social networks to obtain a parent’s consent before giving an account to a child younger than 18 while a new California law would require many sites to turn on the highest privacy settings for minors.

Now Louisiana lawmakers have passed an even broader bill that could affect access to large swaths of the internet for minors in the state.

The Louisiana measure would prohibit online services — including social networks, multiplayer games and video-sharing apps — from allowing people under 18 to sign up for accounts without parental consent. It would also allow Louisiana parents to cancel the terms-of-service contracts that their children signed for existing accounts on popular services like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Fornite and Roblox.

The Louisiana civil code already allows parents to rescind contracts signed by unemancipated minors. Laurie Schlegel, the Republican state legislator who spearheaded the new measure, said her bill simply made it clear that the state’s existing contracting rules also covered accounts on online content-sharing platforms.

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