Florida Senate - 2024                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for HB 3
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Fiscal Policy (Hutson) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 501.1737, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         501.1737Age verification for online access to materials
    8  harmful to minors.—
    9         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   10         (a)“Commercial entity” includes a corporation, a limited
   11  liability company, a partnership, a limited partnership, a sole
   12  proprietorship, and any other legally recognized entity.
   13         (b)“Department” means the Department of Legal Affairs.
   14         (c)“Distribute” means to issue, sell, give, provide,
   15  deliver, transfer, transmit, circulate, or disseminate by any
   16  means.
   17         (d)“Material harmful to minors” means any material that:
   18         1.The average person applying contemporary community
   19  standards would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient
   20  interest;
   21         2.Depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way,
   22  sexual conduct as specifically defined in s. 847.001(19); and
   23         3.When taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic,
   24  political, or scientific value for minors.
   25         (e)“News-gathering organization” means any of the
   26  following:
   27         1.A newspaper, news publication, or news source, printed
   28  or published online or on a mobile platform, engaged in
   29  reporting current news and matters of public interest, and an
   30  employee thereof who can provide documentation of such
   31  employment.
   32         2.A radio broadcast station, television broadcast station,
   33  cable television operator, or wire service, and an employee
   34  thereof who can provide documentation of such employment.
   35         (f)“Publish” means to communicate or make information
   36  available to another person or entity on a publicly available
   37  website or application.
   38         (g)“Reasonable age verification methods” means a
   39  commercially reasonable method used by a government agency or a
   40  business for the purpose of age verification which is conducted
   41  by a nongovernmental, independent, third-party organized under
   42  the laws of a state of the United States which:
   43         1.Has its principal place of business in a state of the
   44  United States; and
   45         2.Is not owned or controlled by a company formed in a
   46  foreign country, a government of a foreign country, or any other
   47  entity formed in a foreign country.
   48         (h) “Resident” means a person who lives in this state for
   49  more than 6 months of the year.
   50         (i)“Substantial portion” means more than 33.3 percent of
   51  total material on a website or application.
   52         (2)A commercial entity that knowingly and intentionally
   53  publishes or distributes material harmful to minors on a website
   54  or application, if the website or application contains a
   55  substantial portion of material harmful to minors, must perform
   56  reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of a
   57  person attempting to access the material is 18 years of age or
   58  older and prevent access to the material by a person younger
   59  than 18 years of age.
   60         (3)A third party conducting age verification:
   61         (a)May not retain personal identifying information used to
   62  verify age once the age of an account holder or a person seeking
   63  an account has been verified.
   64         (b)May not use personal identifying information used to
   65  verify age for any other purpose.
   66         (c)Must keep anonymous any personal identifying
   67  information used to verify age. Such information may not be
   68  shared or otherwise communicated to any person.
   69         (d)Must protect personal identifying information used to
   70  verify age from unauthorized or illegal access, destruction,
   71  use, modification, or disclosure through reasonable security
   72  procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the
   73  personal information.
   74         (4)(a)This section does not apply to any bona fide news or
   75  public interest broadcast, website video, report, or event and
   76  does not affect the rights of a news-gathering organization.
   77         (b)An Internet service provider or its affiliates or
   78  subsidiaries, a search engine, or a cloud service provider does
   79  not violate this section solely for providing access or
   80  connection to or from a website or other information or content
   81  on the Internet or a facility, system, or network not under the
   82  provider’s control, including transmission, downloading,
   83  intermediate storage, or access software, to the extent the
   84  provider is not responsible for the creation of the content of
   85  the communication which constitutes material harmful to minors.
   86         (5)(a)Any violation of subsection (2) or subsection (3) is
   87  deemed an unfair and deceptive trade practice actionable under
   88  part II of this chapter solely by the department on behalf of a
   89  resident minor against a commercial entity. If the department
   90  has reason to believe that a commercial entity is in violation
   91  of subsection (2) or subsection (3), the department, as the
   92  enforcing authority, may bring an action against the commercial
   93  entity for an unfair or deceptive act or practice. For the
   94  purpose of bringing an action pursuant to this section, ss.
   95  501.211 and 501.212 do not apply. In addition to any other
   96  remedy under part II of this chapter, the department may collect
   97  a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation of this section.
   98         (b)A commercial entity that violates subsection (2) for
   99  failing to prohibit or block a minor from future access to
  100  material harmful to minors after a report of unauthorized or
  101  unlawful access is liable to the minor for such access,
  102  including court costs and reasonable attorney fees as ordered by
  103  the court. Claimants may be awarded up to $10,000 in damages. A
  104  civil action for a claim under this paragraph must be brought
  105  within 1 year after the violation.
  106         (c)Any action under this subsection may only be brought on
  107  behalf of or by a resident minor.
  108         (6)For purposes of bringing an action under subsection
  109  (5), a commercial entity that publishes or distributes material
  110  harmful to minors on a website or application, if the website or
  111  application contains a substantial portion of material harmful
  112  to minors and such website or application is available to be
  113  accessed in this state, is considered to be both engaged in
  114  substantial and not isolated activities within this state and
  115  operating, conducting, engaging in, or carrying on a business
  116  and doing business in this state, and is therefore subject to
  117  the jurisdiction of the courts of this state.
  118         (7)This section does not preclude any other available
  119  remedy at law or equity.
  120         (8)The department may adopt rules to implement this
  121  section.
  122         Section 2. If any provision of this act or its application
  123  to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity
  124  does not affect other provisions or applications of this act
  125  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
  126  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
  127  severable.
  128         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.
  130  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  131  And the title is amended as follows:
  132         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  133  and insert:
  134                        A bill to be entitled                      
  135         An act relating to online protections for minors;
  136         creating s. 501.1737, F.S.; defining terms; requiring
  137         a commercial entity that publishes or distributes
  138         material harmful to minors on a website or application
  139         that contains a substantial portion of such material
  140         to perform reasonable age verification methods and
  141         prevent access to such material by minors; providing
  142         requirements for a third party conducting age
  143         verification; providing applicability; authorizing the
  144         Department of Legal Affairs to bring an action for
  145         violations under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair
  146         Trade Practices Act; providing civil penalties;
  147         providing for private causes of action; providing that
  148         certain commercial entities are subject to the
  149         jurisdiction of state courts; providing construction;
  150         authorizing the department to adopt rules; providing
  151         for severability; providing an effective date.