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A new law introduced in Utah aims to protect children online by requiring minors to obtain parental permission when signing up for social media accounts, as well as requiring social media companies to provide parents with passwords for their childrens’ existing accounts.

The law would not take effect until 2024 and is likely to face significant opposition in court, given that social media companies would need to collect personal information about all users in Utah.

To find out how many Americans, and parents specifically, would support such a measure,  in May PasswordManager.com surveyed 1,000 respondents aged 18 and up.

Results include:

  • 66% of Americans agree that parents should legally have access to kids’ accounts
  • 74% believe companies should, by law, obtain parental permission to sign up a minor
  • 78% agree that giving parents access to kids’ passwords will improve overall safety
  • Majority say these parental rights would help reduce school violence, bullying, sexual assault, and more

2 in 3 Americans Agree That Parents Should Legally Be Able to Obtain Passwords to Kids’ Internet Accounts

When asked if they believe parents should have a legal right to access some or all of their child’s internet accounts, two-thirds of Americans ‘strongly agree’ (32%) or ‘agree’ (34%). This number is higher for respondents who identified as parents, of which 74% are in favor.

When asked to explain why they believe parents should legally have access to their kids’ accounts, write-in responses included:

  • “Parents are responsible for their children and need to know what is going on in their lives. Social media has a big impact on kids. Parents need to know.”
  • “They are still a child, and I am solely responsible if anything were to happen.”
  • “I think parents should have passwords because a lot of kids get scammed, bullied or assaulted through social media platforms.”
  • “Parents should be allowed access to all their child’s profiles. We are responsible for them and are responsible for their actions. Parents should be involved in their children’s online activity to monitor what they are getting into and to keep them from becoming victims to predators and other online creeps. Technology isn’t bad, it’s the fact that there are a lot of places to get into trouble and cause problems if it’s not monitored by parents that care about their children.”

Of respondents who do not agree that parents should have access to their kids’ passwords, write-in responses included sentiments such as:

  • “Although there are times where it could keep them safe, children should have privacy to grow and become who they want to be.”
  • “It’s a violation of privacy.”
  • “I believe that is a decision for each individual household. The government should not have a choice.”

Of the two-thirds of Americans who agree that parents should have access to minors’ accounts, 97% believe they should have access to social media passwords, and 80% say they should have access to text messaging apps.

3 in 4 Americans Say Internet Companies Should Be Forced to Obtain Parental Permission Before Signing Up a Minor

An even larger percentage of Americans believe that social media and other internet companies should be legally required to obtain parental consent before allowing a minor to use their services. Thirty-two percent of respondents ‘strongly agree’ with this sentiment while 42% ‘agree.’

Among respondents who identify as parents, this number is again higher, with 81% in agreement that companies should be required to obtain parental consent.

Of the three-quarters who agree, 96% say social media companies should be required to obtain parental permission, and 79% say social community apps such as Reddit should be required.

When asked for which ages of users companies should be legally required to obtain parental permission to sign up (under 12 years old, under 16 years old, etc.), the majority of respondents say this should be law for all minors under 18.

78% Agree That Giving Parents Legal Access to Kids’ Passwords Will Make Kids Safer

When asked if they believe, in general, that parents having access to minors’ passwords will make them safer, 36% of respondents say they ‘strongly agree’ and 42% ‘agree.’ Of parent respondents, a total 85% agree or strongly agree.

Respondents were then asked about specific issues relating to the safety of minors. The majority of respondents stated that they believe giving parents access to their kids’ passwords is likely to prevent a wide variety of safety concerns such as school violence and body image issues.

Additionally, 45% of respondents say it should be illegal for some minors to have access to social media between the hours of 10:30 pm and 6:30 am. Of this group, the majority say this rule should apply to minors age 16 and under.


This survey was commissioned by PasswordManager.com and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish from May 25-27, 2023. In total, 1,000 participants in the U.S. completed the full survey. All participants had to meet demographic criteria ensuring they were age 18 or older. 610 respondents identified themselves as parents while 390 did not.

The survey used a convenience sampling method, and to avoid bias from this component Pollfish employs Random Device Engagement (RDE) to ensure both random and organic surveying. Learn more about Pollfish’s survey methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.