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Tech Platforms’ Liability Shield Survives SCOTUS Tests, TikTok Ban Becomes Law in MT & More

May 19, 2023 (1 min read)

SCOTUS Refuses to Hold Tech Platforms Liable for Users’ Posts

In a pair of decisions issued last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hold social media platforms accountable for the posts of their users. In one case, Gonzalez v. Google, the court refused to “address the application” of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the federal law shielding platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter from liability for their users’ speech, because the complaint appeared “to state little, if any, plausible claim for relief.”

In a separate but related case, Twitter v. Taamneh, the justices unanimously ruled that a law allowing lawsuits to be brought against those who aid terrorists wasn’t applicable. (NEW YORK TIMES, CNBC)

MT Enacts Nation’s First Statewide TikTok Ban

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed SB 419, banning mobile app stores from offering the popular Chinese-owned video sharing app TikTok to Montana-based users. Other states have only banned use of the app on state-owned devices. Although the law is scheduled to go into effect next year, it will likely face legal challenges. (PLURIBUS NEWS)

TN Enacts Comprehensive Data Privacy Law

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed legislation (HB 1181/SB 73) making the state the eighth to enact a comprehensive data privacy law. Tennessee’s action comes within weeks of Indiana (SB 5) and Iowa (SB 262) enacting their comprehensive data privacy laws. (SHRM, STATE NET)

Airbnb Fined by WA for Operating as Unauthorized Insurer

The state insurance commissioner of Washington fined online property rental platform Airbnb $20,000 for operating an unauthorized insurer by offering its host damage protection (HDP) program. All future HDP coverage and payouts must be handled by an insurance adjuster licensed in the state. The company must also review all previous HDP claims it has denied since Jan. 1, 2021 and pay any claims it improperly denied. (LAW360)

–Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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