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State social media law will put burden on companies, cybersecurity expert says | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida’s social media bill, set to be signed into law, will take effect Jan. 1, 2025.

Children who are 14 or 15 years old will need parental permission to be on most social media sites. Any child under that age will be banned.

“I like that they (lawmakers) put the burden on social media companies,” Alan Crowetz, a cybersecurity expert and CEO of Infostream, said. “It wasn’t the government saying we will validate if someone is of age or not of age. You guys have to figure it out.”

WPTV

Alan Crowetz, a cybersecurity expert and CEO of Infostream, is happy the burden is on social media companies.

That will be no easy task. “We do work for schools and if anybody is going to get into the grading system or figure out a way to copy somebody’s homework, or whatever it is … children, they are ninjas with IT,” Crowetz said.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody will wield subpoena power to go after social media companies. Those companies could face fines of $50.000 for every violation of the new law.

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“I think it’s really a parent self-policing and frankly a social media company that is going to say, look, we don’t want to have that risk, so we are going to comply with this great Florida law,” Toby Overdorf, a Republican state lawmaker on the Treasure Coast, said.

Toby Overdorf, a Republican state lawmaker on the Treasure Coast, spoke with WPTV anchor Michael Williams about the social media bill. March 11, 2024

WPTV

Toby Overdorf, a Republican state lawmaker on the Treasure Coast, spoke with WPTV anchor Michael Williams about the social media bill.

But legal challenges are certain. And even aside from court fights there are practical issues.

What precisely defines a social media platform? How do you precisely define “addictive features”? Who keeps track of all the details across so many sites?

I asked asked Overdorf about what seems to be a complicated task. He said, “It’s a very complicated issue, and we’re trying our best to ensure those children are, in fact, protected and that these social media platforms do not do the harm they are currently doing to Florida’s children.”



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