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USA Privacy Updates: North Carolina, Texas, Florida, California

  1. North Carolina

An amended version of HB 644 – the Social Media Algorithmic Control in Information Technology Act was re-referred to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill description states that it “combat[s] social media addiction by requiring that social media platforms respect the privacy of North Carolina users’ data and not use a North Carolina minor’s data for advertising or algorithmic recommendations.”


2. Texas

There also was a lot of movement with children’s / social media privacy bills last week. Two state legislative chambers passed bills. The Texas House passed HB 18 by a 125-20 vote. The bill protects minors from harmful, deceptive, or unfair trade practices in connection with the use of certain digital services.

3. Florida

a) Kids and social media . The Florida House passed HB 591 by a 104-0 vote. The bill regulates social media platforms’ interaction with children.

b)On 4 May, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 262, the Florida Digital Bill of Rights. Unlike the comprehensive privacy laws recently enacted in other states.

The law, which takes effect July 1, 2024, contains the kind of basic consumer rights found in most data privacy legislation, including the right to know what information companies are collecting, the right to correct and delete certain data and the right to limit some data disclosure.

However, it only applies to companies making more than $1 billion in annual revenue, effectively leaving out large numbers of popular websites and apps that collect data from individuals.

The law also does not apply to pseudonymous information like online cookies, which experts say makes it “largely meaningless” that the law also gives Floridians the right to opt out of targeted advertising.

Key points: 1) Definition of “controller” - an entity that makes in excess of $1 billion in global gross annual revenue and (1) derives 50% or more of its revenue from the sale of advertisements online, including providing targeted advertising or the sale of ads online, (2) operates a consumer smart speaker and voice command component service with an integrated virtual assistant connected to a cloud computing service that uses hands-free verbal activation, or (3) operates an app store or a digital distribution platform that offers at least 250,000 different software applications for consumers to download and install.

2) Interesting novellas

Children’s Rights. Controllers must obtain affirmative authorization for the processing of personal data of children between the ages of 13 and 18.

Search Engine. Controllers that operate search engines must make available an “up-to-date plain language description of the main parameters that are individually or collectively the most significant in determining ranking and the relative importance of those main parameters, including the prioritization or deprioritization of political partisanship or political ideology in search results.”

Sensitive Data. Controllers that sell sensitive data or biometric data must disclose that activity through specific disclosures on their website. This provision also is found in the Texas consumer privacy bill.

Data Retention. Controllers and processors must adopt and implement a retention schedule.


4. California

a)The Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 287 by a 7-0 vote. The bill prohibits a social media platform from using a design, algorithm, practice, affordance, or feature that the platform knows, or which by the exercise of reasonable care should know, causes child users to engage in certain specified behaviors.

b) data broker bills: SB 362 (the California Deletion Act) was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 9-2 vote. The bill was referred to the Appropriations Committee. In Texas, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee voted out SB 2105 by a 11-0 vote.

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