California’s BOT Disclosure Law, SB 1001, Now In Effect

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The B.O.T. (“Bolstering Online Transparency”) Act, enacted last year pursuant to SB 1001, has gone into effect in California. As of July 1, it is unlawful for a person or entity to use a bot to communicate or interact online with a person in California in order to incentivize a sale or transaction of goods or services or to influence a vote in an election without disclosing that the communication is via a bot. The law defines a “bot” as “an automated online account where all or substantially all of the actions or posts of that account are not the result of a person.” The required disclosure must be clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform persons with whom the bot communicates or interacts that it is a bot.

The law is the first of its kind enacted by a state legislature and applies only to communications with persons in California. In addition, it applies only to public-facing Internet Web sites, applications, or social networks that have at least 10 million monthly U.S. visitors or users. While the law contains no private right of action and expressly “does not impose a duty on service providers of online platforms,” failure to abide by the disclosure requirement, as enforced by the Attorney General, may constitute a violation of California’s unfair competition laws and result in fines and equitable remedies.

Nevada’s Privacy Law Granting Opt-Out Rights Is First Out of the Gate

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On May 29, 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law SB 220, which amends Nevada’s security and privacy law to require an operator of a website or online service for commercial purposes to permit consumers to opt-out of the sale of any covered personally identifiable information that the operator has collected or will collect about the consumer. The law becomes effective October 1, 2019, several months before the California Consumer Privacy Act’s (CCPA) effective date of January 1, 2020, and is therefore set to become the first of its kind to be implemented in the U.S.

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Oregon Amends Data Breach Notification Law to Apply to Vendors

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On May 24, 2019, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate Bill 684, which requires vendors, service providers and other entities that maintain or possess consumers’ personal information to notify consumers of a security breach.

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