NetChoice, a trade group that represents TikTok, Meta or X, sued the state of Utah on Monday over laws that require children and teens to get parental consent to use social networking apps.
Two bills signed in March by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox prohibit minors from using social media at night without parental consent and require age verification to create and maintain an account.
The goal of the restrictions is to protect children from targeted advertising and addictive elements that could negatively affect their mental health. Both laws will enter into force on March 1, 2024. Before then, however, the court will discuss them.
In its federal lawsuit, the trade group NetChoice claims that while well-intentioned, Utah’s regulations are unconstitutional because they limit access to public content, threaten data security and undermine parental rights.
“We’re fighting for all Utahns to be able to use digital tools without the coercive grip of government control,” said Chris Marchese, chief executive of the company, which includes many of the world’s leading social media companies, including TikTok, Snap Inc. (parent company of Snapchat), Mety (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) and X.