Bill Summaries: H644 (2023-2024 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 25 2023 - View summary

    House committee substitute amends the 1st edition as follows.

    Revises new Article 2B, the Social Media Algorithmic Control in Information Technology Act, enacted in GS Chapter 75. Adds algorithmic recommendation to the Article's defined terms, defined to mean a recommendation of suggested, promoted, or ranked information. Changes the definition of minor to mean an individual under 18 (was, 18 and under). Adds and defines North Carolina platform user, defined as an individual who resides in the State and uses a social media platform. Revises the definition of social media platform, limiting the definition to electronic mediums with more than one million monthly active users in the US; explicitly excludes internet service providers, communications services as defined in GS 160A-340(3), community forums where the primary purpose of the forum is for customer self-service support related to products, sellers, services, events, or places, or any combination thereof, interactive video game services, and online shopping or e-commerce. Limits the definition of user data to data collected from or concerning an NC platform user. Regarding the requirements of a social media platform operator relating to the data and privacy of users, limits the scope of the requirements to that of NC platform users. Similarly makes the requirements regarding social media platform operators' algorithmic recommendation systems' use of a minor's data to limit the requirements to the data of NC platform users who are minors, as now defined. Specifies that the prohibition on using user data from a North Carolina platform user who is a minor is used to inform content recommendations to the minor is not intended to prevent content (was, algorithmic recommendations) from being shown as a direct result of explicit actions. Limits the private right of action against a social media platform who fails to comply with the Article's requirements to an NC platform user (was, user). Makes organizational and technical changes. Changes the long title.

  • Summary date: Apr 17 2023 - View summary

    Enacts new Article 2B, the Social Media Algorithmic Control in Information Technology Act, to GS Chapter 75, effective October 1, 2024. Sets forth defined terms. Defines algorithmic recommendation system as a fully or partially automated system used to suggest, promote, or rank information. Makes findings related to the harm unhealthy social media use can impose on minors. Finds that exploitation of user data can result in users being targeted in ways that increase unhealthy social media use. States that the State’s policy is that user data must be respected by platform operators and that users who are minors warrant special protections. Requires operators of social media platforms to comply with all of the following five requirements: (1) the platform's privacy policy must be accessible on the platform's website with the disclosure of how user data will be used by the platform stated in a succinct and easy to understand statement that communicates the true intent of the use in less than 250 words; (2) user data may be used in algorithmic recommendations only when the user has been notified and consents to the use of the data in such manner; (3) requests for data access that will be used to inform algorithmic recommendations must require full disclosure of the use of the data, including third-party use (requires this to be separate and distinct from the platform's terms of service notification); (4) the platform must be fully functional for a user without the user having to give consent for their user data to be used to inform algorithmic recommendations; and (5) the platform must use an age verification system that requires a user to self-attest to their age.

    Starting on October 1, 2024, and then annually thereafter, requires social media platforms to provide the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice (Division) with a digital copy of the platform's privacy policy and certification that the platform has complied with the requirements of the act. Requires platforms to provide notice of substantive privacy policy changes to the registry. Requires the Division to maintain a registry of the policies and certifications on its internet website.

    Requires social media platforms to control algorithmic recommendation systems so that no minor’s user data is used to: (1) inform algorithmic recommendations and (2) inform what advertisements or promotions are shown to minors that are not shown to the minor based on their explicit actions (e.g., searching for the product). Specifies that the operator of a social media platform may be held liable if the operator of the social media platform knew or had reason to know that the user was a minor. Clarifies that the operator of a social media platform that has made an estimation of a user's age based upon the user's self-attestation is not liable if the user was a minor who falsely attested to not being a minor.

    Specifies that, effective January 1, 2025, violations of the act constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice under State consumer protection law. Requires the Attorney General to monitor platforms for compliance. Authorizes individuals to bring a private right of action if the individual is harmed by a violation of the act. Creates the NC Data Privacy Task Force (Task Force) to consist of 21 specified members. Establishes appointment and vacancy processes. Requires the Task Force to report annually on its work, with a special focus on mental health issues related to social media, along with findings, recommendations, and any legislative proposals to the NCGA starting March 15, 2024.  

    Effective July 1, 2023, appropriates $100,000 from the General Fund to the Department for the 2023-24 fiscal year to develop the registry created enacted by the act.