Smiling mother assisting children while showing digital tablet. Family is sitting on sofa in living room. They are in casuals at home.

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 has provided a lasting Mother’s Day gift to mothers everywhere. House Bill 18 USE OF DIGITAL SERVICES BY MINORS protects Minor Children (and mothers’ credit cards) from digital service agreements without your consent. 

What is House Bill 18?

Online service providers request personal information to sign up to communicate with offers, access websites and applications, subscribe to their services, and allow 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.  

In June 2023, the Texas House made such digital service agreements unenforceable without parental consent. The process may be more inconvenient but provides mothers some comfort that their child cannot register for online services without parental knowledge and permission. 

Other Aspects of House Bill 18

The bill is also concerned with minors coming 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 physical, emotional, or developmental harm in relation to the use of digital services. 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.  

Happy Mother’s Day From Hammerle Finley Law Firm 

Whether House Bill 18 feels like a Mother’s Day Gift or a burden, our team of attorneys would like to wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day! 

Attorney Mark Mayer is an attorney at Hammerle Finley Law Firm, offering services in estate planning, probate, guardianship, business law, litigation, and real estate.  Contact him at (972) 436-9300 or schedule a consultation

The foregoing does not constitute legal advice.