“The bill will require all users to provide proof of their age in order to comply with the law and ask parents to provide proof that they are the minor’s parent in order to access the platform,” Servando Esparza, TechNet’s executive director for Texas and the Southeast, said in an emailed statement. “This could jeopardize privacy and lead to unintended consequences,” he added, noting that Louisiana legislators had recently amended the bill to require research on its potential impact before the measure would take effect.
The Louisiana online contracts bill is part of a new wave of state laws this year regulating internet services that could pose risks to young people. And it underscores an escalating effort among Republican state legislators to give families more control over their children’s online activities.
Last year, Ms. Schlegel spearheaded the passage of a Louisiana law that requires sexually explicit sites to verify that users in the state are 18 or older by checking credentials like a verified digital driver’s license. The law took effect in January.
Since then, at least five states — Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana,Utah and Virginia — have passed similar age-verification laws for pornography sites.
In March, Republican lawmakers in Utah initiated the passage of a restrictive social media bill that would require social networks to verify a user’s age and obtain parental consent for minors to have accounts. The legislation would also give parents access to their child’s online posts and messages. Arkansas enacted a similar measure in April.
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