Picture this: you’re a politician in the 21st century. You’re running for election, and like all engaged, modern pols, you reach your voting base by being active on a variety of social media platforms (or, at least, you have someone do social media for you). On one of your social media profiles, someone else makes racist and bigoted comments about your electoral opponent. Can you face criminal charges for their comments?

Blending complex questions of electoral politics, hate speech, free speech, content liability, criminal culpability, and proper online stewardship, this is a question tailor-made for hot takes on tech policy. It’s also a question the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently addressed in Sanchez v. France: The court said yes; you can be held criminally liable (at least in Europe).Continue Reading Can You Be Charged for Others’ Online Speech? European Court Says Yes.

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

The day before the California Privacy Rights Act became enforceable on July 1, we learned that enforcement of the first set of implementing regulations finalized by the California Privacy Protection Agency under the CPRA is delayed until March 29, 2024. Prior to the June 30 ruling by a California Superior Court judge, the Regulations were

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a policy statement on May 18, 2023, addressing concerns relating to the collection and use of biometric information. The Biometrics Policy Statement, which the FTC’s Commissioners voted 3-0 to issue, outlines practices related to biometric information that the FTC views as violations or will take into account when evaluating

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

This Update is the third installment of the ongoing series covering Washington state’s new My Health My Data Act. The original impetus for the act was the protection of reproductive rights, and it was signed into law alongside several other pieces of legislation focused on providing abortion and gender-affirming protections. However, because of the broad

As detailed in Part 1 of this ongoing series, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed the state’s My Health My Data Act into law on April 27, 2023. The act is a first-of-its-kind law that creates new privacy protections relating to the collection, sharing, and selling of “consumer health data.” Most of the provisions of the

On April 27, 2023, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 1155, also known as the My Health, My Data Act. Its stated purpose is to protect “consumer health data” collected by entities not already subject to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, but one less obvious consequence of the Act

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 5 on May 1 (effective January 1, 2026), making Indiana the seventh state to offer comprehensive privacy protections. Indiana’s new law appears to closely track Virginia’s omnibus privacy law. The law will apply to a person that conducts business in Indiana or produces products or services targeted to Indiana residents, and that meets either of the following requirements in a calendar year: (1) controls or processes the personal data of 100,000 consumers (defined as residents of Indiana “acting only for a personal, family, or household purpose”); or (2) controls or processes personal data of at least 25,000 consumers with more than 50% of annual gross revenue derived from the sale of personal data.

Similarly, both Tennessee and Montana appear to be imminently close to enacting their own state comprehensive privacy bills. The Tennessee and Montana legislatures each passed their own state bills on April 21, 2023, and each bill is expected to be signed into law by the respective governor soon.

Below, we look at some of the key similarities and differences between the new Indiana privacy law compared with the other six state omnibus privacy laws. We also highlight the key provisions of the Tennessee and Montana bills that are expected to be signed into law soon.Continue Reading Lucky Number 7…8 and 9?: Indiana Passes Privacy Law With Tennessee and Montana Hot on Its Heels

The recent dramatic growth of artificial intelligence technologies continues to be a focus of the Biden administration. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently issued a Request for Comment that seeks public comment on system accountability measures and policies for AI systems, including (1) the definition