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Florida passes law to restrict networks to minors under 16

Florida passes law to restrict networks to minors under 16

Several months after a bill was introduced on the matter, the Florida House of Representatives approved a law restricting minors under the age of 16.

This is a new rule that does not allow people under the above mentioned age to use social networking sites.

The vote in favor of the legislation was 106 to 13. Such progress and approval qualifies as one of the priorities outlined by House Speaker and Rep. Paul Renner, Republican of Palm Coast.

The bill, also known as HB 1, was created to respond to concerns about the mental health of minors. Florida parents also fear the risk to their children from sexual predators in the digital space.

Direct obstacles

The new law establishes a direct ban on minors under the age of 16 from creating accounts on social networks. However, the rule goes further. An order was signed for virtual platforms to cancel existing accounts of users younger than the agreed age.

How will it be controlled? To do this, the law establishes that sites must use the age verification services of independent companies. Any data collected during this process will be deleted after age verification.

Renner himself told Telemundo 51 that the purpose of the move is to protect minors from technology that could be considered addictive. “Continuous use of social networks appears to cause significant damage.” This argument is supported by concerns about mental health issues and the vulnerability of minors to online sexual predators.

The proposed law has met with opposition from those who see it as unconstitutional. Many feel that they are also ignoring the right of parents to make decisions about their children's digital education.