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SB-1001 Bots: disclosure.(2017-2018)



Current Version: 09/28/18 - Chaptered        


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 17940) is added to Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:

CHAPTER  6. Bots
17940.
 For purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Bot” means an automated  online account that is either automated or designed to mimic or behave like the account of a natural  where all or substantially all of the actions or posts of that account are not the result of a  person.
(b) “Online” means appearing on  any public-facing Internet Web site, web Web  application, or digital application, including a social network or publication.
(c) “Online platform” means any public-facing Internet Web site, web Web  application, or digital application, including a social network or publication, that has 50,000,000 10,000,000  or more unique monthly United States visitors or users for a majority of months during the preceding 12 months.
(d) “Person” means a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, association, estate, trust, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or other legal entity or any combination thereof.
17941.
 (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to use a bot to communicate or interact with natural persons another person  in California online, with the intention of misleading a natural intent to mislead the other  person about its artificial identity.  identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.  A person using a bot is presumed to act with the intent to mislead unless the  shall not be liable under this section if the  person discloses that the bot  it  is not  a natural person. bot. 
(b) The disclosure required by this chapter section  shall be clear and conspicuous to all natural  clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform  persons with whom the bot communicates or interacts. interacts that it is a bot. 
(c) A statement shall be considered a disclosure that a bot is not a person if it includes language stating the bot “is a bot” or is “auto-generated.”
17942.
17942.
 (a) An online platform shall enable users to identify and report bots that the user suspects of violating Section 17941.
(b) (1) After receiving notice of a bot pursuant to subdivision (a), an online platform shall expeditiously investigate and determine whether or not to disclose that the bot is not a natural person or remove the bot.
(2) An online platform’s investigation and response shall be expeditious if it occurs within 72 hours of receipt of the notice.
(c) An online platform shall provide bimonthly reports to the Attorney General detailing notices received pursuant to subdivision (b) and actions taken in response.
17943.
17943.
 (a) (1) For text and graphic communications, a statement shall be considered to be made in a clear and conspicuous manner if it is made in larger type than the surrounding text, is in a contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or is set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks in a manner that clearly calls attention to the language.
(2) For audio communications, a statement shall be considered to be made in a clear and conspicuous manner if it is spoken in a clearly audible and intelligible manner at the beginning of the communication.
(3) For video communications, a statement shall be considered to be made in a clear and conspicuous manner if it is in a written format that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) and appears for at least four seconds and in an audible format that meets the requirements of paragraph (2).
(4) For any other communications, a statement shall be considered to be made in a clear and conspicuous manner if it is made in a manner that is at least as clear and conspicuous as described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
(b) A statement is not made in a clear and conspicuous manner if it is difficult to read or hear or if the placement is easily overlooked.
17944. 17942. 
 (a) The duties and obligations imposed by this chapter are cumulative with any other duties or obligation imposed by any other law.
(b) The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.  
(c) The duties and obligations imposed by this chapter shall not apply to bots to the extent they are communicating on behalf of a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company, or other form of business entity, with users or customers of that business, and the user or customer has specifically opted in to such communications after clear and conspicuous disclosure about their automated nature.
(d) (c)  This section chapter  does not impose a duty on service providers of online platforms, including, but not limited to, Web hosting and Internet service providers.
17943.
17943.
 This chapter shall become operative on July 1, 2019.