Florida Senate - 2023                                    SB 1426
       By Senator Osgood
       32-00908-23                                           20231426__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to device filtering; creating s.
    3         501.173, F.S.; defining terms; requiring manufacturers
    4         of tablets or smartphones to manufacture such devices
    5         so that a filter meeting certain requirements is
    6         enabled upon activation of the device in this state;
    7         subjecting such manufacturer to civil and criminal
    8         liability for certain acts of noncompliance; providing
    9         an exception; providing civil liability for
   10         individuals who enable a password to remove the
   11         required filter on a device in the possession of a
   12         minor under certain circumstances; authorizing the
   13         Attorney General to enforce this act; providing
   14         damages; authorizing a parent or legal guardian to
   15         bring a civil action against certain parties who
   16         violate this act under certain circumstances;
   17         providing criminal penalties; providing an effective
   18         date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 501.173, Florida Statutes, is created to
   23  read:
   24         501.173 Device filtering of content harmful to minors.—
   25         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   26         (a)“Activate” means the process of powering on a device
   27  and associating it with a new user account.
   28         (b)“Device” means a tablet or a smartphone manufactured on
   29  or after January 1, 2024.
   30         (c)“Filter” means software installed on a device which is
   31  capable of preventing the device from accessing or displaying
   32  material that is harmful to minors through the Internet or
   33  through an application owned and controlled by the manufacturer
   34  and installed on the device.
   35         (d)“Harmful to minors” has the same meaning as in s.
   36  847.001.
   37         (e)“Manufacturer” means a person that:
   38         1.Is engaged in the business of manufacturing a device;
   39         2.Holds the patents for the device it manufactures; and
   40         3.Has a registered agent in this state in accordance with
   41  part I of chapter 607.
   42         (f)“Minor” means an individual under the age of 18 who is
   43  not emancipated, married, or a member of the Armed Forces of the
   44  United States.
   45         (g)“Password” means a string of characters or numbers or
   46  any other secure method used to enable, deactivate, modify, or
   47  uninstall a filter on a device.
   48         (h)“Smartphone” means an electronic device that combines a
   49  cellular phone with a handheld computer, typically offering
   50  Internet access, data storage, texting, and e-mail capabilities.
   51         (i)“Tablet” means an Internet-ready device equipped with
   52  an operating system, a touchscreen display, and a rechargeable
   53  battery which has the ability to support access to a cellular
   54  network.
   55         (2)FILTER REQUIRED.—Beginning on January 1, 2024, a
   56  manufacturer shall manufacture a device that, when activated in
   57  this state, automatically enables a filter that does all of the
   58  following:
   59         (a)Prevents the user from accessing or downloading
   60  material that is harmful to minors on any of the following:
   61         1.A mobile data network.
   62         2.An application owned and controlled by the manufacturer.
   63         3.A wired Internet network.
   64         4.A wireless Internet network.
   65         (b)Notifies the user of the device when the filter blocks
   66  the device from downloading an application or accessing an
   67  Internet website.
   68         (c)Gives a user with a password the opportunity to unblock
   69  a filtered application or website.
   70         (d)Reasonably precludes a user other than a user with a
   71  password the opportunity to deactivate, modify, or uninstall the
   72  filter.
   73         (e)Allows adult users, or parents or legal guardians of
   74  minors, to deactivate the filter for the device or for specific
   75  content.
   77         (a)Beginning January 1, 2024, a manufacturer of a device
   78  is subject to civil and criminal liability if:
   79         1.The device is activated in this state;
   80         2.The device does not, upon activation, enable a filter
   81  that complies with the requirements described in subsection (2);
   82  and
   83         3.A minor accesses material that is harmful to minors on
   84  the device.
   85         (b)Notwithstanding paragraph (a), this section does not
   86  apply to a manufacturer that makes a good faith effort to
   87  provide a device that, upon activation of the device in this
   88  state, automatically enables a generally accepted and
   89  commercially reasonable filter in accordance with this section
   90  and industry standards.
   91         (4)INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY.—With the exception of a minor’s
   92  parent or legal guardian, any person may be liable in a civil
   93  action for enabling the password to remove the filter on a
   94  device in the possession of a minor if the minor accesses
   95  content that is harmful to minors on the device.
   97         (a)If the Attorney General has reason to believe a person
   98  violated or is violating this section, the Attorney General,
   99  acting in the public interest, may do any of the following:
  100         1.Enjoin an action that constitutes a violation of this
  101  section by issuing a temporary restraining order or preliminary
  102  or permanent injunction.
  103         2.Bring an action to recover from the alleged violator a
  104  civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per violation and not to
  105  exceed a total of $50,000 in aggregate, as determined by the
  106  court.
  107         3.Bring an action to recover from the alleged violator the
  108  Attorney General’s reasonable expenses, investigative costs, and
  109  attorney fees.
  110         4.Bring an action to obtain other appropriate relief as
  111  provided for under this section.
  112         (b)The Attorney General, in addition to other powers
  113  conferred upon him or her by this subsection, may issue
  114  subpoenas to any person and conduct hearings in aid of any
  115  investigation or inquiry.
  116         (c)The Attorney General may seek the revocation of any
  117  license or certificate authorizing a manufacturer to engage in
  118  business in this state.
  119         (d)For purposes of assessing a penalty under this section,
  120  a manufacturer is considered to have committed a separate
  121  violation for each device manufactured on or after January 1,
  122  2024, which violates this section.
  124         (a)Any parent or legal guardian of a minor who accesses
  125  content that is harmful to minors in violation of this section
  126  may bring a private cause of action in any court of competent
  127  jurisdiction against a manufacturer that failed to comply with
  128  this section. A prevailing plaintiff may recover any of the
  129  following:
  130         1.Actual damages or, in the discretion of the court where
  131  actual damages are difficult to ascertain due to the nature of
  132  the injury, liquidated damages in the amount of $50,000 for each
  133  violation.
  134         2.When a violation is found to be knowing and willful,
  135  punitive damages in an amount determined by the court.
  136         3.Nominal damages.
  137         4.Such other relief as the court deems appropriate,
  138  including court costs and expenses.
  139         5.For a prevailing plaintiff, the collection of attorney
  140  fees against a violating manufacturer.
  141         (b)This section does not preclude the bringing of a class
  142  action lawsuit against a manufacturer when its conduct in
  143  violation of this section is knowing and willful.
  144         (c)Any parent or legal guardian of a child may bring an
  145  action in a court of competent jurisdiction against any person
  146  who is not the parent or legal guardian of the child and who
  147  enables the password to remove the filter from a device in the
  148  possession of the child which results in the child’s exposure to
  149  content that is harmful to minors.
  150         (7)CRIMINAL PENALTIES.—
  151         (a)Beginning on January 1, 2024, a person, with the
  152  exception of a parent or legal guardian, may not enable the
  153  password to remove the filter on a device in the possession of a
  154  minor.
  155         (b)A person who violates paragraph (a) is subject to a
  156  fine not to exceed $5,000 for a first offense and not to exceed
  157  $50,000 for a second offense. However, a person who violates
  158  paragraph (a) for a second or subsequent time within 1 year of
  159  the first violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,
  160  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  161         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.