Setting Parental Controls: Do Parents Have a Duty to Supervise Their Children's Use of the Internet?

J. Information Technology & Privacy Law (2014)

8 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2015 Last revised: 18 Jul 2015

See all articles by Alberto Bernabe

Alberto Bernabe

The University of Illinois Chicago School of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2015

Abstract

In late 2014, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a decision that recognized a cause of action against the parents of a teenager who posted hurtful information about another teenager on the internet. The case caught the attention of many in the media which published stories claiming the case was the first to impose a duty on parents to supervise their children's use of the internet. In this essay, I argue the case has been misinterpreted. It does not create such a duty and it does not hold that parents are liable for the conduct of their children either, which other stories covering the case have claimed. The case does recognize a possible cause of action against the parents but it does so by applying established principles of tort law to a new situation. Having said that, I also argue that one of the issues left unresolved by the court may, if addressed eventually, open the door for a new approach to certain claims.

Suggested Citation

Bernabe, Alberto, Setting Parental Controls: Do Parents Have a Duty to Supervise Their Children's Use of the Internet? (May 1, 2015). J. Information Technology & Privacy Law (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2555827 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2555827

Alberto Bernabe (Contact Author)

The University of Illinois Chicago School of Law ( email )

300 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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