Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

(a) It shall be illegal for a person or entity that is not an authorized user, as defined in Code Section 16-9-151, of a computer in this state to knowingly, willfully, or with conscious indifference or disregard cause computer software to be copied onto such computer and use the software to do any of the following: (1) Modify, through intentionally deceptive means, any of the following settings related to the computer’s access to, or use of, the Internet: (A) The page that appears when an authorized user launches an Internet browser or similar software pro- gram used to access and navigate the Internet; (B) The default provider or web proxy the authorized user uses to access or search the Internet; or (C) The authorized user’s list of bookmarks used to access web pages; (2) Collect, through intentionally deceptive means, personally identifiable information that meets any of the following criteria: (A) It is collected through the use of a keystroke-logging function that records all keystrokes made by an authorized user who uses the computer and transfers that information from the computer to another person; (B) It includes all or substantially all of the websites visited by an authorized user, other than websites of the provider of the software, if the computer software was installed in a manner designed to conceal from all authorized users of the computer the fact that the software is being installed; or (C) It is a data element described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (12) of Code Section 16-9- 151, or in division (12)(E)(i) or (12)(E)(ii) of Code Section 16-9-151, that is extracted from the consumer’s or business entity’s computer hard drive for a purpose wholly unrelated to any of the purposes of the software or service described to an authorized user; (3) Prevent, without the authorization of an authorized user, through intentionally deceptive means, an authorized user’s reasonable efforts to block the installation of, or to disable, software, by causing software that the authorized user has properly removed or disabled to automatically reinstall or reactivate on the computer without the authorization of an authorized user; (4) Intentionally misrepresent that software will be uninstalled or disabled by an authorized user’s action, with knowledge that the software will not be so uninstalled or disabled; or (5) Through intentionally deceptive means, remove, disable, or render inoperative security, antispyware, or antivirus software installed on the computer.

(b) Nothing in this Code section shall apply to any monitoring of, or interaction with, a user’s Internet or other network connection or service, or a protected computer, by a telecommunications carrier, cable operator, computer hardware or software provider, or provider of information service or interactive computer service for network or computer security purposes, diagnostics, technical support, repair, network management, network maintenance, authorized updates of software or system firmware, authorized remote system management, or detection or prevention of the unauthorized use of or fraudulent or other illegal activities in connection with a network, service, or computer software, including scanning for and removing software proscribed under this article.