Arlington, VA, 28th of November — The American Consumer Institute (ACI) has raised concerns over the recently enacted Social Media Regulation Act (SMRA) in Utah. The legislation, designed to curb adolescent social media use for mental health reasons, is under scrutiny from ACI for its potential privacy risks and questionable efficacy.

ACI’s comments highlight the complex relationship between social media and mental health, noting that the SMRA’s assumptions may not be grounded in inconclusive evidence. The organization points to studies indicating an unclear causal link between social media use and mental health issues among teenagers.

A key objection from ACI revolves around the privacy implications of the SMRA’s age verification mandates. Citing experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, ACI argues that these mandates could compromise user privacy by necessitating the collection of identifiable data. The risk of data retention by websites or exposure to malicious actors poses a significant concern.

In summary, ACI contends that while the SMRA may have good intentions, it lacks a thorough understanding of the intricate dynamics between social media and mental health. Additionally, the organization asserts that the age verification measures proposed in the legislation may do more harm than good by jeopardizing user privacy without providing a clear resolution to the identified issues.

ACI encourages ongoing public discourse to ensure that any regulations implemented genuinely address the well-being of minors while safeguarding their privacy rights.

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