On June 18, 2024, Louisiana enacted HB 577, prohibiting “social media platforms” with more than 1 million users globally from displaying targeted advertising to Louisiana users that the platform has actual knowledge are under 18 years of age and from selling the sensitive personal data of such users. The law amends the effective date of the state social media law, the Louisiana Secure Online Child Interaction and Age Limitation Act (“the SOCIAL Act”), to July 1, 2025. HB 577 also will take effect on July 1, 2025. This post summarizes the law’s key provisions.

  • Social Media Platform Definition: The law applies the definition of “social media platform” from the SOCIAL Act, which defines social media platform as a public or semipublic internet-based service or app with users in Louisiana and permits users to do all the following:
    • Connect users to allow users to interact socially with each other within the service or app;
    • Construct a public or semipublic profile to sign into and use the service or app;
    • Populate a list of other users with whom an individual shares a social connection within the system, including subscribing to another user’s content; and
    • Create or post content viewable by others, such as on message boards, in chat rooms, or on a main feed that presents the user with content generated by other users.
  • Targeted Advertising Definition: Targeted advertising means displaying an advertisement to a user where the advertisement is selected based on personal data obtained from the user’s activities over time and across non-affiliated websites or online apps to predict the user’s preferences or interests.
    • Exceptions: Targeted advertising does not include:
      • (i) Advertising based on activities within a controller’s own website or app;
      • (ii) Advertising based on the context of a user’s current search, website visit, or app;
      • (iii) Advertising directed to a user in response to their request for information, products, services, or feedback; or
      • (iv) Processing personal data solely to:
        • measure or report on advertising performance, reach, or frequency, or
        • prevent fraud and abuse.
  • Data Processing Liability: Under HB 577, social media platforms are not liable for data processing to reasonably determine whether a user is a Louisiana resident or for an erroneous residency determination. Additionally, if a covered social media platform conducts age estimation, it is not liable for:
    • Data processing undertaken during the period when it is estimating age;
    • An erroneous estimation; or
    • Data processing in the absence of reasonable evidence the user is a minor.
  • Enforcement: The Louisiana Attorney General has the exclusive authority to enforce the law. Social media platforms have 45 days to cure violations after receiving notice from the Louisiana Attorney General. The law authorizes civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation against social media platforms and up to $5,000 against any person for each related administrative or court order violation.

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Photo of Lindsey Tonsager Lindsey Tonsager

Lindsey Tonsager co-chairs the firm’s global Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. She advises clients in their strategic and proactive engagement with the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Congress, the California Privacy Protection Agency, and state attorneys general on proposed changes to data protection…

Lindsey Tonsager co-chairs the firm’s global Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. She advises clients in their strategic and proactive engagement with the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Congress, the California Privacy Protection Agency, and state attorneys general on proposed changes to data protection laws, and regularly represents clients in responding to investigations and enforcement actions involving their privacy and information security practices.

Lindsey’s practice focuses on helping clients launch new products and services that implicate the laws governing the use of artificial intelligence, data processing for connected devices, biometrics, online advertising, endorsements and testimonials in advertising and social media, the collection of personal information from children and students online, e-mail marketing, disclosures of video viewing information, and new technologies.

Lindsey also assesses privacy and data security risks in complex corporate transactions where personal data is a critical asset or data processing risks are otherwise material. In light of a dynamic regulatory environment where new state, federal, and international data protection laws are always on the horizon and enforcement priorities are shifting, she focuses on designing risk-based, global privacy programs for clients that can keep pace with evolving legal requirements and efficiently leverage the clients’ existing privacy policies and practices. She conducts data protection assessments to benchmark against legal requirements and industry trends and proposes practical risk mitigation measures.

Photo of Jenna Zhang Jenna Zhang

Jenna Zhang is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. She is a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group. Jenna advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, product development, and responses to…

Jenna Zhang is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. She is a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group. Jenna advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, product development, and responses to regulatory inquiries. She also maintains an active pro bono practice with a focus on immigration.

Photo of Natalie Maas Natalie Maas

Natalie is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office, where she is a member of the Food, Drug, and Device, and Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Groups. She advises pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and food companies on a broad range of regulatory…

Natalie is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office, where she is a member of the Food, Drug, and Device, and Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Groups. She advises pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and food companies on a broad range of regulatory and compliance issues.

Natalie also maintains an active pro bono practice, with a particular focus on health care and reproductive rights.