Ohio: Governor signs Social Media Parental Notification Act
On July 5, 2023, Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, signed into law House Bill 33 which includes the Social Media Parental Notification Act. In particular, the Act will require online companies to obtain verifiable parental consent before permitting a child under the age of 16 and who is not emancipated to use their platforms.
The Act will apply to the online website, service, or product that has users in Ohio and that allows those users to:
- interact socially with other users within the confines of the online website, service, or product;
- construct a public or semi-public profile for the purpose of signing into and using the online website, service, or product;
- populate a list of other users with whom an individual shares or has the ability to share a social connection within the online website, service, or product; and
- create or post content viewable by others, including on message boards, chat rooms, video channels, direct, or private messages or chats, and a landing page or main feed that presents the user with content generated by other users.
Obligations of the companies
Companies are required, among other things, to:
- create a method to determine whether the user is a child under the age of 16;
- obtain verifiable parental or legal guardian consent;
- send written confirmation of the consent to the parent or legal guardian; and
- if the user indicates that they are under the age of 16 via the splash page, the following methods can be used for verification:
- sign a digital form consenting to the terms of service;
- use a credit card, debit card, or other online payment system;
- call a toll-free telephone number;
- connect to trained personnel via video conference; or
- check a form of government-issued identification.
Companies have until January 15, 2024, to comply with the provisions of the Act.