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Passage of Major Data Privacy Bills in MD, CO Senate Leader’s AI Bill & More

April 17, 2024 (3 min read)

MD Passes Major Data Privacy Bills

With the approval of a pair of bills last week, Maryland joined a handful of other states, including California, Connecticut, Texas and Utah, that have passed both comprehensive data privacy legislation and social media or online protections for children.

One of the measures, the Maryland Online Data Privacy Act (HB 567), would impose broad restrictions on the way companies can collect and use consumer data. The other bill, the Maryland Kids Code (HB 603), would prohibit certain online, social media and video game platforms from tracking users under the age of 18 or using manipulative techniques like notifications and auto-playing videos to keep them online.

The Maryland Kids Code was patterned after California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, enacted in 2022 but blocked by a federal judge on free speech grounds. However, Maryland lawmakers said they worked with legal experts and amended their bill to address such concerns.

“We are technically the second state to pass a kids code,” said Del. Jared Solomon (D), one of the bill’s sponsors. “But we are hoping to be the first state to withstand the inevitable court challenge that we know is coming.”

The bills still need to be approved by Gov. Wes Moore (D), who hasn’t indicated whether or not he supports them. (NEW YORK TIMES)

CO Senate Leader Introduces AI Bill

Colorado Senate Majority Leader Robert Rodriguez (D) introduced a bill (SB 205) that would require developers of “high-risk” artificial intelligence systems “to use reasonable care to avoid algorithmic discrimination.” The measure would also require developers of general AI models to disclose the design specifications and training methods for those models, as well as disclose to consumers when “digital content has been artificially generated or manipulated” by their models. (PLURIBUS NEWS, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

PA House Approves Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

Pennsylvania’s House approved a bill (SB 37) that would make it illegal to use “an interactive mobile device” such as a smartphone while driving. The measure has returned to the Senate for concurrence. (HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

TN Senate Passes Social Media Parental Consent Bill

Tennessee’s Senate unanimously approved a bill that would require parental consent for minors to create social media accounts and authorize the state Attorney General to investigate and sue social media platforms that fail to do so. Because the Senate amended the measure to specify that it would only apply to social media platforms, it must now return to the House for concurrence. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Google To Test Removal of Links to CA News Sites in Response to CA Bill

Google announced that it would be removing links to California-based news websites from search results for a small percentage of California-based users in preparation for the possible enactment of AB 886. The bill, titled the California Journalism Preservation Act, would require online companies like Google to pay usage fees to California-based sources of news content they make available to California-based users. The measure has been passed by the state’s Assembly and currently resides in the Senate Judiciary Committee. (CNBC, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

Tech Companies ‘Cut Corners’ in Developing AI

In the race to lead the development of artificial intelligence, tech companies like Google, Meta and OpenAI “have cut corners, ignored corporate policies and debated bending the law, an investigation by The New York Times revealed. For example, OpenAI transcribed over a million hours of YouTube videos into texts to train its powerful GPT-4 AI model, presumably violating YouTube’s policy prohibiting the use of its videos for “independent” applications and possibly violating the video creators’ copyrights (NEW YORK TIMES).

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

As we’ve previously reported, most states have either introduced or enacted legislation related to AI in the past twelve months. AI continues to be a pressing issue for state lawmakers this year, potentially introducing a host of challenges for businesses. And we don’t foresee that changing any time soon. That is why LexisNexis® State Net® would like to offer you 30 days of AI legislative and regulatory alerts for free.*

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—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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