Bill Text: NJ S3096 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits use of bots to deceive person about origin and content of communication for certain commercial or election purposes.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-10-18 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee [S3096 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3096-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3096

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 18, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits use of bots to deceive person about origin and content of communication for certain commercial or election purposes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning the use of bots under certain circumstances and supplementing Title 56 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Bot" means an automated online account where all or substantially all of the actions or posts of that account are not the direct result of a person.

     "Computer or mobile application" means computer application software used by a person operating a computer or mobile device.

     "Internet service provider" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3 of P.L.2007, c.272 (C.56:8-170).

     "Online" means appearing on any public-facing Internet website, Internet web application, or computer or mobile application, including a social networking website or publication.

     "Online platform" means any public-facing Internet website, Internet web application, or computer or mobile application, including a social networking website or publication, that has 10,000,000 or more unique monthly visitors or users located in the United States for a majority of months during the preceding 12 months.

     "Person" means a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, association, estate, trust, government agency, or other legal entity or any combination thereof.

     "Social networking website" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 1 of P.L.2012, c.75 (C.18A:3-29).

 

     2.    a.  A person shall not use an online bot to communicate or interact with another person in this State, with the intent to mislead the other person about the bot's artificial identity, with the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person with the content of the communication or interaction in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.

     b.    A person using a bot shall not be liable under P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) if the person discloses that it is a bot.  The disclosure required by this subsection shall be clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform a person with whom the bot communicates or interacts that it is a bot.

 

     3.    a. The duties and obligations imposed by P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) are cumulative with any other duties or obligation imposed by any other law.

     b.    The provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall not impose a duty on a service provider of an online platform, including, but not limited to, an Internet web hosting service provider or an Internet service provider.

 

     4.    A person who violates the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be liable for a civil penalty of $2,500 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second offense, and $10,000 for each subsequent offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section.

 

     5.    The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to implement the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     6.    This act shall take effect on 180th day after the date of enactment, except that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs may take anticipatory action in advance thereof as shall be necessary to implement the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill makes it unlawful for any person to use an online "bot," as defined in the bill, to communicate or interact with another person in New Jersey, with the intent to mislead the other person about the bot's artificial identity, with the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person with the content of the communication or interaction in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.  The bill specifies that a person using a bot is not liable under the bill if the person discloses that it is a bot.  The disclosure must be clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform a person with whom the bot communicates or interacts that it is a bot.  The bill specifies that it does not impose a duty on a service provider of an online platform that has 10,000,000 or more unique monthly visitors or users located in the United States for a majority of months during the preceding 12 months, including, but not limited to, an Internet web hosting service provider or an Internet service provider.

     A person who violates the provisions of the bill is liable for a civil penalty of $2,500 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second offense, and $10,000 for each subsequent offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999."  The Superior Court is to have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty.

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