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Noah Bialos advises clients on digital safety, platform regulation, risk governance, and human rights.

The UK Online Safety Bill was passed by Parliament earlier this week and is expected to soon become law through royal assent. The Online Safety Act (UK OSA) will impose a series of sweeping obligations, including risk assessment, content moderation, and age assurance requirements, on a variety of online services that enable user-generated content, including but not limited to social media and search providers.

Among the most notable aspects of the UK OSA are its “duties of care.” The law will impose a series of affirmative obligations to assess and mitigate safety risks.

Continue Reading UK Parliament Passes a Sweeping and Controversial Online Safety Bill

The Global Online Safety Regulators Network (Network) issued a position statement on human rights and online safety regulation on September 13, 2023.

The Network is intended to facilitate a coherent international approach to online safety regulation by enabling online safety regulators to share insights, experience, and best practices. The current Network members include: the eSafety Commissioner (Australia), Coimisiún na Meán (Ireland), the Film and Publication Board (South Africa), the Korea Communications Standards Commission (Republic of Korea), the Online Safety Commission (Fiji), and Ofcom (UK).

Continue Reading Global Online Safety Regulators Issue Statement on Human Rights and Online Safety Regulation

On June 6, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 262 into law. SB 262 is a departure from the comprehensive privacy laws enacted by other states for a variety of reasons, including its (1) ban on government-directed moderation of social media, (2) restrictions on online interactions with minors (somewhat akin to the California Age-Appropriate Design Code), and (3) establishment of a “digital bill of rights” that creates general consumer privacy rights similar in many respects to those adopted in other states but, unlike them, Florida’s are narrowly applicable. Governor DeSantis has not shied away from saying the new law is directly aimed at “Big Tech,” and the targeted application of certain aspects of the law reflects that goal.

The ban on government-directed moderation took effect on July 1, 2023, with the protections for minors and digital bill of rights provisions set to take effect on July 1, 2024.

Continue Reading Florida Enacts “Digital Bill of Rights” Combining Narrowly Applicable “Comprehensive” Privacy Provisions and More Broadly Applicable Restrictions on Children’s Privacy and Social Media Restrictions

Texas has become the latest state to impose age-related privacy and safety restrictions on online service providers, joining Arkansas, California, Florida, and Utah. Signed by Governor Greg Abbott on June 13, 2023, the Securing Children Online through Parental Empowerment (SCOPE) Act is scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2024, and will require digital service providers to “register” the age of potential users at account creation and implement a series of privacy and safety controls for known minors.

Continue Reading Texas Becomes Latest State to Address Kids’ Privacy and Safety Online

Less than one month after Utah adopted the nation’s first law restricting the use of social media platforms by minors under 18, Arkansas last week enacted its Social Media Safety Act (the Act), SB396. The Act, which goes into effect on September 1, 2023, similarly bars minors from holding accounts on social media platforms without parental consent and requires social media companies to complete “reasonable age verification” via a third-party vendor.

Continue Reading Arkansas Becomes Second State To Enact Social Media Restrictions for Minors

California and New York recently passed laws that seek to change how social media platforms and social media networks design and report their content moderation practices. The New York law will require a hateful conduct policy and reporting mechanism starting in December 2022. The California laws will impose content policy and transparency requirements starting in

Following the European Council’s approval last week, the Digital Services Act (DSA) has been officially adopted, starting the countdown to the law’s entry into force later this year. The DSA builds on the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000 (e-Commerce Directive) and regulates the obligations of digital services that act as intermediaries in connecting consumers with third-party