Mothers strive to protect their children, and we salute all Mothers this May for their beautiful instincts of worry and concern over well, EVERYTHING. We salute Mothers for the burdens they take on for their children.
The Texas House may provide a Mother’s Day gift to Mothers everywhere. House Bill 18 USE OF DIGITAL SERVICES BY MINORS seeks to protect Minor Children (and Mothers’ credit cards) from digital service agreements without your consent.
Online service providers request personal information to sign up to communicate with offers, to access websites and applications, to subscribe to their service, and allow the minors to communicate with others. Minors can be susceptible to online offers and sign up for subscriptions that require a Legislative act to cancel, and each month you see $2.99 hit your credit card.
The Texas House is considering making such digital service agreements unenforceable without parental consent. The process will certainly be more inconvenient, but could provide Mothers some comfort that their child just cannot register for online services without parental knowledge and permission.
The bill is also concerned for minors come into contact with information and materials that may not be PG. The bill seeks to create a duty on digital service providers to use reasonable care to prevent them physical, emotional or developmental harm in relation to the use of the digital service. The bill seeks to require the service provider to prevent exposure to substance abuse, bullying, harassment, advertisements for products that are illegal for minors (i.e. alcohol and tobacco), pornographic materials, and deceptive marketing.
This bill has been placed on the Major State Calendar. You can read this bill at https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB18/2023. Then you can see the full text and decide if this bill becomes a law, if it is a Mother’s Day Gift, or a burden.
Attorney Mayer is an attorney at Hammerle Finley Law Firm, a boutique law firm offering services in estate planning, probate, guardianship, business law, litigation, and real estate. Contact him at (972) 436-9300. This article does not constitute as legal advice.