Communications and Technology

States Passing Major Communications and Technology Legislation in Lively 2023 Sessions

In recent legislative cycles, governors and state lawmakers have advanced significant legislation tackling many of the hot-button technology, telecom, and internet policy issues that often stall at the federal level.

Here are some key examples of new laws adopted in the 2023 sessions so far:

  • Within the past year, at least 30 states have taken action to restrict or prohibit TikTok—and in some cases, additional apps and technology vendors of concern—from government devices and networks. The Montana Legislature recently passed first-of-its-kind legislation that would completely ban TikTok from all operations within the state, including private Montana users accessing TikTok on their personal devices.
  • Both Utah and Arkansas enacted legislation this year to heavily restrict or ban children’s access to online social media accounts. California lawmakers, meanwhile, enshrined a new Age-Appropriate Design Code in law last fall that would subject a broad swath of organizations to severe new restrictions on their business practices, provided that an “online service, product, or feature” could plausibly be accessed by children.
  • On the subject of consumer data privacy, Iowa and Indiana became the sixth and seventh states to enact their own state-level consumer data privacy laws, joining California, Colorado, Utah, Virginia, and Connecticut. Several other states are expected to follow suit.

Free-Market Solutions Drive Domestic Innovation

States are well-positioned to advance productive policy solutions that remove overly burdensome regulations, welcome new jobs and businesses to their communities, and promote a culture of innovation and experimentation by embracing the next generation of connected technologies.

With this in mind, ALEC members developed signature model policies that encourage businesses to experiment with new digital services, provide legal certainty to blockchain and cryptocurrency companies by streamlining licensing requirements, embrace the sharing economy, protect our critical infrastructure from potential adversaries, and much more.

As more states enact their own laws on emerging tech, legislative leaders should remember how an open internet promotes American competitiveness, helps small businesses, and benefits consumers. By implementing tactful free market policies today, state policymakers can set the table for yet another generation of American technology dominance.