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South Carolina: Bill on automated decision making for minors introduced to State Senate

Senate Bill 404 to Amend the South Carolina Code of Laws so as to Prohibit Operators of Internet-Based Applications from using "Automated Decision Systems" to Place Content on Social Media Platforms for Users Under the Age of Eighteen was introduced, on 18 January 2023, to the South Carolina State Senate, and thereafter referred, on the same date, to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. In particular, the bill provides that it is unlawful for any operator of a website, online service, or online or mobile application, including social media platform, to utilise an automated decision system for content placement, including feeds, posts, advertisements, or product offerings, for a user under the age of 18 who is a resident of South Carolina.

Further, the bill provides that operators who do utilise an automated decision system for content placement for users who are 18 or older, must perform an age verification through an independent third-party verification service that compares information available in public records to the personal information entered by the user, to establish whether the user is 18 or older. More specifically, the bill adds that the above verification procedure need not be performed if:

  • the user creates an online profile or account with personal information, including, but not limited to, name, address, and a valid phone number, and that the personal information is verified through public records; or
  • the user is required to upload a copy of their government-issued identification in addition to a current photo.

Notably, the bill defines 'automated decision system' as a computational process, including one derived from machine learning, statistics, or other data processing or artificial intelligence techniques, that make a decision or facilitate human decision making and that impacts consumers.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.