The ACLU of Georgia opposes SB 351 because the methods listed for verifying the ages of website and social media users leave Georgians susceptible to dangerous data privacy infringements. SB 351 also builds upon attempts to censor content that is available to young people by expanding current restrictions to include online information.

  • The bill updates policies that aim to keep students from using social media apps in schools and requires parents to sign off on their children having social media accounts.
  • Most age verification methods are intrusive and jeopardize privacy rights due to the acquisition, sale and redistribution of users’ personal information once it is acquired by a verification entity. This can occur even when entities are instructed not to retain identifiable information.
  • Most age verification methods require scanning or uploading of government-issued documents, such as driver’s licenses or passports. This is highly sensitive information that should not be uploaded for websites or third party companies to access.
  • Typically, the aim of age verification bills is to shield minors from social media platforms or certain types of online content. Despite the focus on youth, age verification methods require everyone who visits these websites to upload sensitive information. As such, age verification requirements subject all Georgians to the dangers of data privacy breaches.
  • The First Amendment protects the vast majority of online content that age verification methods seek to restrict minors from. Young people have the right to access information, and they have the right to express themselves on digital platforms.
  • Resources for regulating young people’s social media activity already exist. Social media platforms currently implement their own policies and features that allow parents to take an active role in monitoring the content that their children access. 
  • Georgia’s General Assembly has successfully passed classroom censorship legislation that restricts young people’s access to information. SB 351 expands that censorship to the digital space. 
  • Whether in classrooms or online, the responsibility is on parents – not the legislature – to determine what content their children can and should access.


House Second Readers



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