The battle over Americans’ online privacy rights is having a moment in the sun. With diverse proposals ranging from Texas’s HB 1844, which would establish new privacy protections related to the “collection, use, processing, and treatment of consumers’ personal data by entities,” to a pair of new Utah bills that would require parental permission before teens can access social media, states are busy crafting legislation to address the increasing dangers that Americans encounter online. Unfortunately, many bills under consideration would increase compliance costs for businesses, undermine the role of parents in monitoring their children’s online activity and do little to improve consumer privacy.

One such bill is Montana’s HB 346. Introduced on Jan. 26, HB 346 would establish “obscenity filter requirements” for electronic devices. All tablets and smart phones sold and activated in the state would need to have an obscenity filter installed. The bill defines that technology as any “software installed on an electronic device that is capable of preventing the electronic device from accessing or displaying obscenity” through the internet or “any applications owned and controlled by the manufacturer and installed on the device.”

Published in its entirety in The Missoulian.