Florida Senate - 2024                                    SB 1788
       By Senator Grall
       29-01310B-24                                          20241788__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to age verification for social media
    3         platform accounts; creating s. 501.1736, F.S.;
    4         defining terms; requiring social media platforms to
    5         prohibit certain minors from creating new accounts,
    6         use reasonable age-verification methods to verify the
    7         ages of account holders, to terminate certain accounts
    8         and provide additional options for termination of such
    9         accounts, and to disclose specified policies and
   10         provide specified resources, measures, and
   11         disclaimers; authorizing the Department of Legal
   12         Affairs to bring actions for violations under the
   13         Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act;
   14         providing penalties; providing for private causes of
   15         actions; providing that certain social media platforms
   16         are subject to the jurisdiction of state courts;
   17         providing construction; authorizing the department to
   18         adopt rules; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 501.1736, Florida Statutes, is created
   23  to read:
   24         501.1736Age verification for social media platform
   25  accounts.—
   26         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   27         (a)“Account holder” means a resident of this state who has
   28  or opens an account or creates a profile or other form of
   29  identification to use or access a social media platform.
   30         (b)“Department” means the Department of Legal Affairs.
   31         (c)“Reasonable age-verification method” means any
   32  commercially reasonable method regularly used by government
   33  agencies or businesses for the purpose of age and identity
   34  verification.
   35         (d)“Social media platform”:
   36         1.Means an online forum offered by an entity which has the
   37  ability to track the activity of an account holder or user, if
   38  such online forum allows an account holder or user to do all of
   39  the following:
   40         a.Create or use a profile, account, or other form of
   41  identification.
   42         b.Upload content or view the content or activity of other
   43  account holders.
   44         c.Interact with or track other account holders or users.
   45         2.Does not include an online service, website, or
   46  application where the predominant or exclusive function is:
   47         a.E-mail.
   48         b.Direct messaging consisting of text, photos, or videos
   49  that are sent between devices by electronic means where messages
   50  are shared between the sender and the recipient only, visible to
   51  the sender and the recipient, and are not posted publicly.
   52         c.A streaming service that provides only licensed media in
   53  a continuous flow from the service, website, or application to
   54  the end user and does not obtain a license to the media from a
   55  user or account holder by agreement to its terms of service.
   56         d.News, sports, entertainment, or other content that is
   57  preselected by the provider and not user generated, and any
   58  chat, comment, or interactive functionality that is provided
   59  incidental to, directly related to, or dependent upon provision
   60  of the content.
   61         e.Online shopping or e-commerce, if the interaction with
   62  other users or account holders is generally limited to the
   63  ability to upload a post and comment on reviews or display lists
   64  or collections of goods for sale or wish lists, or other
   65  functions that are focused on online shopping or e-commerce
   66  rather than interaction between users or account holders.
   67         f.Interactive gaming, virtual gaming, or an online service
   68  that allows the creation and uploading of content for the
   69  purpose of interactive gaming, edutainment, or associated
   70  entertainment, and the communication related to that content.
   71         g.Photo editing that has an associated photo hosting
   72  service, if the interaction with other users or account holders
   73  is generally limited to liking or commenting.
   74         h.A professional creative network for showcasing and
   75  discovering artistic content, if the content is required to be
   76  non-pornographic.
   77         i.Single-purpose community groups for public safety if the
   78  interaction with other users or account holders is generally
   79  limited to that single purpose and the community group has
   80  guidelines or policies against illegal content.
   81         j.To provide career development opportunities, including
   82  professional networking, job skills, learning certifications,
   83  and job posting and application services.
   84         k.Business-to-business software.
   85         l.A teleconferencing or videoconferencing service that
   86  allows reception and transmission of audio and video signals for
   87  real time communication.
   88         m.Shared document collaboration.
   89         n.Cloud computing services, which may include cloud
   90  storage and shared document collaboration.
   91         o.To provide access to or interacting with data
   92  visualization platforms, libraries, or hubs.
   93         p.To permit comments on a digital news website, if the
   94  news content is posted only by the provider of the digital news
   95  website.
   96         q.To provide or obtain technical support for a platform,
   97  product, or service.
   98         r.Academic, scholarly, or genealogical research where the
   99  majority of the content that is posted or created is posted or
  100  created by the provider of the online service, website, or
  101  application and the ability to chat, comment, or interact with
  102  other users is directly related to the provider’s content.
  103         s.A classified ad service that only permits the sale of
  104  goods and prohibits the solicitation of personal services or
  105  that is used by and under the direction of an educational
  106  entity, including:
  107         (I)A learning management system;
  108         (II)A student engagement program; and
  109         (III)A subject or skill-specific program.
  110         (2)A social media platform shall do all of the following:
  111         (a)Prohibit a minor who is under 16 years of age from
  112  creating a new account on the social media platform.
  113         (b)Use reasonable age-verification methods to verify the
  114  age of each account holder on the social media platform at the
  115  time a new account is created.
  116         1.If an account holder fails to verify his or her age, the
  117  social media platform must deny the account. The reasonable age
  118  verification method must be conducted by an independent, third
  119  party not affiliated with the social media platform.
  120         2.Personal identifying information used to verify age may
  121  not be retained once the age of an account holder or a person
  122  seeking an account has been verified. Any personal identifying
  123  information collected to verify age may not be used for any
  124  other purpose.
  125         (c)For existing accounts:
  126         1.Terminate any account that is reasonably known by the
  127  social media platform to be held by a minor under 16 years of
  128  age, and provide a minimum of 90 days for an account holder to
  129  dispute such termination by verifying his or her age.
  130         2.Allow an existing account holder under 16 years of age
  131  to request to terminate the account. Termination must be
  132  effective within 5 business days after such request.
  133         3.Allow the confirmed parent or guardian of an existing
  134  account holder under 16 years of age to request the minor’s
  135  account be terminated. Termination must be effective within 10
  136  business days after such request.
  137         4.Permanently delete all personal information held by the
  138  social media platform relating to the terminated account, unless
  139  there are legal requirements to maintain such information.
  140         (d)If the social media platform allows minors under 18
  141  years of age to create an account on the platform, the platform
  142  must, on its Internet homepage or platform user login page or
  143  through a clearly labeled, conspicuous, and readily accessible
  144  link on such homepage or login page:
  145         1.Disclose the following social media platform policies in
  146  a manner that is clearly, concisely, prominently, and
  147  understandably written using language suited to the age of users
  148  who are under 18 years of age likely to routinely access the
  149  platform without unrelated, confusing, or contradictory
  150  materials:
  151         a.The content moderation policies the social media
  152  platform uses for content on the platform.
  153         b.Whether the social media platform uses or allows the use
  154  of addictive design or deceptive pattern features, including
  155  autoplay or infinite scroll.
  156         c.Whether the social media platform allows manipulated
  157  photographs or digital images to be shared on the platform.
  158         d.Whether the social media platform considers the best
  159  interests of platform users who are under 18 years of age when
  160  designing, developing, and providing services.
  161         e.The methodology the social media platform uses to
  162  consider the best interests of platform users who are under the
  163  age of 18 when designing, developing, and providing services.
  164         f.The policies and protections the social media platform
  165  uses to protect platform users who are under 18 years of age
  166  against harmful behaviors, such as bullying, harassment, and
  167  threats of violence or self-harm.
  168         g.Whether the social media platform collects or sells
  169  personal information of platform users who are under 18 years of
  170  age, including personal identifiers, biometrics, and geolocation
  171  data. If such personal information is collected, the platform
  172  must disclose the type of personal information collected and the
  173  purpose of such collection. If such personal information is
  174  sold, the platform must disclose to whom the information is
  175  sold.
  176         2.Provide clear access to the following:
  177         a.Zip code-based references to local resources for law
  178  enforcement, suicide prevention, and domestic violence
  179  prevention services.
  180         b.Reporting mechanisms related to harmful behaviors, such
  181  as bullying, harassment, and threats of violence or self-harm.
  182         3.At the time of log-in, and before obtaining access to
  183  the platform, require platform users who are under 18 years of
  184  age to read and accept a disclaimer which must be in
  185  substantially the following form:
  187         This application may be harmful to your mental health
  188         and may use design features that have addictive
  189         qualities or present unverified information or that
  190         may be manipulated by ...insert platform name... or
  191         others for your viewing. This application may also
  192         collect your personal data to further manipulate your
  193         viewable content and may share your personal data with
  194         others.
  196         (3)Any violation of subsection (2) is an unfair and
  197  deceptive trade practice actionable under part II of this
  198  chapter solely by the department against a social media
  199  platform. If the department has reason to believe that a social
  200  media platform is in violation of subsection (2), the
  201  department, as the enforcing authority, may bring an action
  202  against such platform for an unfair or deceptive act or
  203  practice. For the purpose of bringing an action pursuant to this
  204  section, ss. 501.211 and 501.212 do not apply. In addition to
  205  other remedies under part II of this chapter, the department may
  206  collect a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation.
  207         (4)(a)A social media platform that violates subparagraph
  208  (2)(c)2. or subparagraph (2)(c)3. for failing to terminate an
  209  account within the required time after being notified to do so
  210  by the minor account holder or a confirmed parent or guardian is
  211  liable to such Florida minor for such access, including court
  212  costs and reasonable attorney fees as ordered by the court.
  213  Claimants may be awarded up to $10,000 in damages.
  214         (b)A civil action for a claim under this subsection must
  215  be brought within 1 year after the violation.
  216         (5)Any action brought under subsection (3) or subsection
  217  (4) may only be brought on behalf of a Florida minor.
  218         (6)For purposes of bringing an action in accordance with
  219  subsections (3) and (4), a social media platform that allows a
  220  Florida minor under 16 years of age to create an account on such
  221  platform is considered to be both engaged in substantial and not
  222  isolated activities within this state and operating, conducting,
  223  engaging in, or carrying on a business, and doing business in
  224  this state and is therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the
  225  courts of this state.
  226         (7)This section does not preclude any other available
  227  remedy at law or equity.
  228         (8)The department may adopt rules to implement this
  229  section.
  230         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.