ASSEMBLY, No. 4101

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 4, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  MITCHELLE DRULIS

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblyman  ROY FREIMAN

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblywoman  SHANIQUE SPEIGHT

District 29 (Essex and Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Sampson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires social media companies to establish toll-free telephone number for NJ account holders to report fraudulent account actions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act requiring social media companies to establish a toll-free telephone number 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):   

     “New Jersey account holder” means a New Jersey resident who has or who creates a social media account on a social media platform.

     “Social media account” means a profile created by a person on a social media platform, which contains personal information, including name, phone number, email, or other identifying information.  “Account” also includes a profile created by a person that only contains pictures or videos that the person owns and shares.

     “Social media company” means a person, business, or other legal entity and its agents, assignees, or representatives that provides or operates a social media platform with at least five million account holders worldwide.

     “Social media platform” or “platform” means a public or semipublic internet-based service or application that has users in this State, which service or application: (1) allows users to construct a public or semipublic social media account for the purposes of using the platform, populate a list of other users with whom the user shares a social connection through the platform, and post content viewable by other users of the platform; and (2) is designed to connect users within the platform to facilitate social interactions, except that a service or application that provides email or direct messaging services shall not be considered to meet this criterion solely based on the existence of that functionality.  “Social media platform” shall not include an Internet-based service or application for which interactions between users are solely related to the provision of direct messages, commercial and financial transactions, peer-to-peer payments, consumer engagement around products, product reviews, sellers, services, events, or places, or any combination thereof.

 

     2.  a.  A social media company shall make available to New Jersey account holders a 24-hour toll-free telephone number by which an account holder may contact a live customer service representative of the social media company to report fraudulent activity on a New Jersey account holder’s social media account, including, but not limited to, unauthorized access.

     b.  A social media company shall publish the toll-free telephone number made available pursuant to subsection a. of this section, and an explanation of the purpose of the toll-free telephone number, on any email notifications of account security sent to a New Jersey account holder and in a prominent location on the homepage or help page of the social media platform.

 

     3.  It shall be an unlawful practice and a violation of P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) for a social media company to fail to comply with any provision of section 2 of P.L.    , c.        (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  Such violation shall be subject to all remedies and penalties available pursuant to P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.).

 

     4.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires a social media company to provide a 24-hour toll-free telephone number by which an account holder may contact a live customer service representative of the social media company for the purpose of reporting fraudulent activity, including, but not limited to, unauthorized access to a social media account.  A social media company is also required to publish the toll-free telephone number and an explanation of the purpose of the toll-free telephone number on any email notifications of account security sent to a New Jersey account holder and in a prominent location on the social media platform’s homepage or help page.

     It is an unlawful practice and a violation of the consumer fraud act for a social media company to fail to comply with any provision of this bill.  An unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act is punishable by a monetary penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense.  In addition, a violation can result in cease and desist orders issued by the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages, and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured party.

     Currently, many account holders face difficulty receiving assistance with reporting fraudulent activities on their social media accounts.  This bill is intended to provide account holders with a means by which to report fraudulent activity to a live customer service representative.