Utah Passes Legislation to Restrict Content on Mobile Devices

Congrats to Utah for passing new legislation (H.B. 72) that introduces a “default-on” mechanism for pornographic content on devices sold in Utah.

This bill establishes filter requirements and enforcement mechanisms for tablets and smart phones activated in the state on or after January 1 of the year following the year this bill takes effect. (Description of HB72)

The bill is tailored towards minor and has the following requirements:

  • Filter must be enabled at activation (today it is a default off, the user has to enable);
  • The device must prevent the user of the device from accessing material that is harmful to minors on the devices;
  • The device must enable certain users to deactive the filter for the device for specific content;
  • The device must notify the user when the content if filtered;
  • Device makers must introduce a way for the AG to bring a civil action against the manufacturer if the device doesn’t allow this;
  • Introduces a $10 penalty for each incident;

The effective date is the 1st of January of the year following the bill passing, which means January 1st, 2022.

It’s going to be interesting to see if other states take similar action, and specifically how manufacturers are going to respond. Stay tuned!