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Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill Undermining Floridians’ Digital Rights

TALLAHASSEE—Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law S.B. 262, which undermines online safety and violates Floridians’ constitutionally protected First Amendment and due process rights, among various other problems. 

“It’s unfortunate to see Gov. DeSantis sign such a flawed bill that undermines the Sunshine State’s economy while failing to protect Floridians’ data online,” said NetChoice Vice President & General Counsel Carl Szabo. “We share DeSantis’ desire to protect against government jawboning and ensure Floridians’ data is secure and protected. There are better, constitutional ways to achieve those goals.”

A few problems with SB 262 include: 

  1. It undermines young people’s safety online by conflicting with federal laws: SB 262 conflicts with the federal Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by regulating minors’ online privacy differently than COPPA.
  2. Its provisions conflict with itself, violating due process and harming businesses:  Because SB 262 includes conflicting provisions for the same uses of digital data, websites will be unable to determine which information they must receive consent to collect and which information may be collected, unless the consumer elects to opt-out. This confusion raises due process concerns under the 14th Amendment, which requires laws to clearly explain what actions are subject to regulation. When such clarity is absent, the law likely violates the Due Process Clause.
  3. It violates Floridians’ First Amendment rights: SB 262 both compels speech and dictates moderation standards for online services, infringing on digital editorial freedom.

You can read NetChoice’s veto letter to Gov. DeSantis on SB 262 here. Please contact with questions.